After watching what’s been going on in the House and the Senate the last few weeks, editorials from across the state are making a stronger case than ever for removing the authority for drawing legislative maps from the state legislature. On Friday, a Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com put it this way:
Legislators proved they are not to be trusted to objectively draw election district lines. At a minimum, their self-interest – regardless of partisanship — to make their own re-election as assured as possible makes them unable to develop fair and impartial maps as defined by the court.
Even though the court said legislators could not use political or voting data in their work, they could consider incumbency. That was the small opening needed to perpetuate their hyper gerrymandering….
Using incumbency – with its legacy in illegal gerrymandering – provide the excuse and means to perpetuate the problem the court wanted fixed. These legislators know the composition of their districts intimately, precinct by precinct. They intuitively know the partisan behavior even if they can’t see the exact data…..
The lesson here is simple. It can be addressed right away. Legislators lack the ability – either because of their own incumbency or partisan bias – to draw election districts that put the interests of voters and representation of communities first. Only imposition of a non-partisan system will fix it.
And this is from this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal:
…the division and the deception and the quest for world domination by Republicans now — and the Democrats before them — need to end. The redrawn districts will be a start.
Whatever the final outcome, they should be an improvement over what we have.
Better yet would be maps drawn by an independent commission.
We can only hope. It would be nice to see a sense of fairness in elections, versus manipulation and self-interest.
These two come on top of last week’s entry from the Charlotte Observer and News & Observer entitled “NC’s new voting maps have already failed” which put concluded this way:
…we believe the court should wrest the maps from the hands of lawmakers and either give the task to a special master or, if there’s time before 2020, allow lawmakers to pursue an independent commission that would produce N.C. districts not colored by partisanship and self-interest. Lawmakers have had their chance, for decades and again this month. They’ve failed.
And this morning’s editorial cartoon from John Cole of Policy Watch sums things up neatly: