Source: Editorial Board
North Carolina Republicans last week passed into law their latest congressional and state voting maps – maps that are so extremely gerrymandered that it’s likely they’re illegal.
Republicans released two proposed versions for the state’s new congressional map and both of them would turn the state’s current seven Democrat, seven Republican delegation into a 10-4 or 11-3 split in favor of Republicans.
The Republicans’ gerrymandered state House and Senate voting maps are even more egregious and are likely to allow the NCGOP to keep their majorities in both chambers through at least 2030, according to the Associated Press.
These maps split communities down to the city and town level for no other reason than it is politically advantageous to the GOP. By splitting towns into separate districts, Republicans are trying to dilute the power of certain communities – specifically Black communities.
It’s likely these new maps violate laws like the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which protects the rights of voters of color, as Republicans did not consider racial data in the drawing of the new maps.
Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) said it was a mistake for Republicans to ignore racial data.
“I mean, I’m not sure how these maps are going to comply with the Voting Rights Act if we haven’t performed that Racially Polarized Voting analysis that is specific to local areas,” Harrison warned, referring to a racial data-based analysis needed in some places where the ability of minority communities to elect a candidate of their choice must be protected under the VRA.
What these maps show is that the NCGOP doesn’t care about fairness or democracy. They are only interested in keeping their power and they’ll do it any way they can. To keep their power, they have spread lies about President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020, failed to condemn those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, dismantled voting rights, attacked trans children, sought to destroy the public education system and have now committed blatant partisan gerrymandering.
Our democracy is built on the idea that voters choose their representatives, not the other way around – but North Carolina Republicans believe they are the ones who should determine their political future. They are cherry-picking their voters, punishing their political opponents and doing so to the detriment of their constituents.
Now that the maps are state law, it’s likely that lawsuits will be filed against the NCGOP for violating the VRA.
This is not the first time North Carolina Republicans have eagerly and with great enthusiasm gerrymandered political districts to stay in power. Just as they did in 2018, reasonable North Carolinians will unite to defeat these Republicans.