Letter: How to stop gerrymandering
Two months ago, the Supreme Court ruled that two N.C. congressional districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders and ordered the N.C. legislature back to the drawing board. A new congressional district map will have to be created.
The good news is that a solution is staring the legislators in the face. Last summer, a group of retired judges led by two former N.C chief justices got together to draw up a congressional map that does away with partisan/racial gerrymandering. The nonpartisan group was comprised of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
The effort resulted in a compact, competitive and commonsense map (you can view the map on endgerrymanderingnow.org). It complies with the federal Voting Right Act and it would, I’m sure, be approved by the federal court. And, it still gives Republicans a majority of districts.
Republicans have scheduled special sessions in August and September (the latter to work on redistricting). Here’s an excellent idea — adopt this fair and nonpartisan map during the August special session, cancel the September session, and save taxpayers’ money. Or use the taxpayers’ money on bolstering cyber security in our electoral process, updating our state’s voting equipment and expanding early voting.
I’m not naive. This solution to partisan/racial gerrymandering won’t be acceptable to Republicans in the House and Senate because they are more concerned about sustaining power than commonsense legislation. I hope I’m wrong for the sake of having fair elections for all in North Carolina.
— Douglas Byrd
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