North Carolina Republicans Drew Gerrymandered Maps, But Other States Considered Worse | DFA 90.7
North Carolina lawmakers are expected to approve a congressional map next week, along with new maps for the state House and Senate.
The state obtains an additional member of Congress, bringing the number of representatives in the House to 14.
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project ran a computer simulation of 1 million cards of the Congress of North Carolina and found that the most common scenario would produce a Republican advantage in 8 of 14 seats. Democrats would be favored in six seats.
Here’s how the organization ranked the cards that are under consideration ahead of a likely final vote at the General Assembly next week.
Senator Ben Clark’s Democratic Card (tie 7-7): A
Senator Ben Clark’s Democratic Card (8-6 GOP Advantage): A
Senator Jay Chaudhuri’s Democratic Card (8-6 GOP Advantage): A
Senator Ralph Hise’s Republican Card (Advantage 11-3 GOP): F
Senator Warren Daniel’s Republican Card (10-4 GOP advantage): F
Republican Card of Representative Destin Hall (9-5 GOP Advantage): C
Democratic cards are fairer according to the organization, but they will not be approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. And Democratic Governor Roy Cooper cannot veto the new cards.
The big question is whether GOP lawmakers go for the Daniel card which gives them a 10-4 advantage or the more moderate Hall card which gives them the advantage in 9 of 14 seats. (Map 11-3 could be used in court to show that Republicans could have adopted a tougher gerrymander.)
Adam Podowitz-Thomas, legal strategist for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, said political parties across the country are seeking to maximize their political footprint in every state. Democrats have a small majority of eight members in the United States House.
He said the Hise and Daniel cards are bad gerrymanders. But he said there were worse gerrymanders all over the country, especially in Texas and Illinois.
In Texas, Republicans passed a card that gives the GOP the edge in 25 of 38 congressional seats.
In Illinois, Democrats came up with a card that gives them the advantage in 14 of 17 seats.
âYou know it’s probably hard for me to decide whether Texas or Illinois are the most egregious,â Podowitz-Thomas said. âThey’re both really non-compact. Just a lot of lines that make it look like they’re trying to pick up unique quarters. They both look like blatant gerrymanders from our perspective. “
If North Carolina Republicans approve of an 11-3 or 10-4 card, it is likely that groups aligned with Democrats or other outside groups will sue the legislature, just as they repeatedly did last. decade after the GOP drew maps after the 2010 census.
Redistribution in North Carolina
WFAE political reporter Steve Harrison chats with “All things considered” host Gwendolyn Glenn about the North Carolina redistribution and potential gerrymandered maps.
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee is chaired by Eric Holder, the attorney general to former President Barack Obama. He’s already sued in Texas for that state’s congressional card.
“We are fighting for fair cards that reflect the will of the voters, and if Republicans try to ignore this and fight their way to power, we will be ready to continue,” NDRC Chairman Kelly said. Burton.
The NDRC declined to challenge the Illinois map, even though it strongly inclines the state’s congressional delegation in favor of the Democrats. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden won Illinois with 57% of the vote against 40% for Donald Trump. The card proposed by Congress gives Democrats the advantage in more than 80% of the seats.
The Common Cause NC group has sued the state for the past decade for its political cards. Bob Phillips, the group’s executive director, declined to say if he would sue over the latest cards.
âThere are definitely a lot of concerns that come up and you hate to think of litigation,â Phillips said. “You are hoping, again, that there would be a process that could support a better outcome of cards that are fairer. I know 7-7 is probably not a card just because maybe it is. an impossible card to draw without breaking the criteria and rules again, but 11-3 is definitely not a fair card in my opinion.
He said it was likely that the 2022 election will run according to the maps adopted this year, even if there are disputes.
âLiterally, every election in the past decade except the last was conducted on maps that were ultimately ruled unconstitutional,â he said. âIt takes time for the courts to catch up. “
Cooper said this week that the proposed cards “don’t look fair.”
This drew criticism from Republicans, who noted that he voted for gerrymandered cards when he was a state senator in the 1990s.