In case you missed it yesterday morning, an editorial in the Wilmington StarNews pulled no punches in describing the latest partisan gerrymander concocted by Republicans at the General Assembly. This is from “New districts; same old political manipulation”:
“Voting analysts watching the results say that most of these districts will lean Republican, even though North Carolina as a whole is very balanced. As of Aug. 19, of the state’s 6,777,881 registered voters, 2,640,045 are Democrats; 2,054,423 are Republicans; and 2,050,096 are unaffiliated.
If adopted, these districts all but guarantee that the GOP will continue to have veto-proof majorities in both houses of the General Assembly.
To achieve this required some computer legerdemain and tricky penciling. Larger urban areas, where Democrats’ voting strength resides, were horribly carved up.
On the House map, Cumberland County (Fayetteville) looks as if bread mold is growing across it. Wake County (Raleigh) looks like a child’s connect-the-dots puzzle. It will be hard for any challengers to build up an organization among these political crazy quilts.
But this is what happens when politicians get to draw their own districts.
The Honorables could have tried any number of plans for independent, non-partisan redistricting. The Duke University experiment — having a bipartisan panel of retired judges draw district maps — worked out pretty well.
Instead of being statesmen, though, the Republican majority is sticking with dirty politics. Very limited time was scheduled for public comment on these redistricting plans, and Democratic members of the General Assembly were given no input. When it comes to establishing the election districts at the very heart of our representative government, the party in control doesn’t care what the people think.
We can only hope that an appeals judge will flush this stink and force the Honorables to draw districts that are at least not so blatantly partisan. They certainly are not going to do it on their own.”