NC Gerrymandering: Plaintiffs Petition Court Not to Force New Maps Before Midterms

NORTH CAROLINA – Plaintiffs in the North Carolina gerrymandering case — including Common Cause and the state’s League of Women Voters —  are asking federal judges to hold off on forcing the state to redraw its congressional districts ahead of the 2018 elections.

A federal court ruled on August 27 that the state’s congressional map constituted a partisan gerrymander and was thus unconstitutional. The court further ruled that the maps may need to be redrawn before the midterm elections — now two months away — causing a great deal of uncertainty among voters, lawmakers, and even the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs in the case have decided not to push for map changes so quickly. In a brief filed with the court, they wrote that they “have reluctantly concluded that — on the unique facts presented here — attempting to impose a new districting plan in time for the 2018 election would be too disruptive and potentially counterproductive.”

They further wrote that “statewide redistricting just weeks before Election Day would not be a good-government solution.”

It is important to note that redistricting can be a delicate process. It requires time to redraw electoral boundaries, especially ones as large as congressional districts. The plaintiffs in this case have concluded that just giving lawmakers weeks to redraw lines would most likely not produce a new map that enhances fairness and accountability.

Stay tuned for more on this story.