The North Carolina Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee posted its base county cluster maps late last night — as well as a base statewide map — that they will work from to create new districts after a court found they used unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering in the last round of redistricting.
The maps will serve as a starting point for the Senate, and it’s expected members will make amendments to improve districts for complete compliance with the court’s order in Common Cause v. Lewis.
The committee spent most of Tuesday arguing over which methodology and which maps were best to use during the remedial process. Once they nailed down the logistics, they used a borrowed state lottery machine to randomly select the top five ranked maps (for compactness, split municipalities and split voting districts) for each county cluster — there are seven.
The House Redistricting Committee spent most of Tuesday waiting for Republican defense counsel to verify the data the plaintiffs sent them was correct. When they proceeded later in the day, they argued over the same issues as the Senate — which methodology was best and which maps were the purest — a set of 1,000 that only took traditional criteria into account or a set of 1,000 that took that criteria and incumbency protection (from 2011 and 2017) into account.
The House committee is expected to continue that process Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building. The Senate committee will also reconvene Wednesday at 9 a.m. in room 544 of the Legislative Office Building.
See each of the Senate base maps below. NC Policy Watch has also obtained the shapefiles for the base maps for the public and is considering the best option for posting them online. In the meantime, members of the public wishing to obtain the shapefiles can email firstname.lastname@example.org.