Editorial: Finally, 2022 election can begin

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

Let the elections begin.

After delayed Census results, later-than-usual redistricting, gerrymandering allegations and lawsuits upending the election process, it’s finally time for candidates to write plans in pen and for voters to start learning about who will be on their ballots in 2022.

North Carolina is no stranger to partisan skirmishes over district lines, but the recent fight seemed unique because it left voters with a vague sense of who will appear on their ballot and a slim idea of which districts they’d vote in. Filing stopped for all races — from Congress to district court judge — in December because of gerrymandering lawsuits.

What are candidates supposed to do when the election is on pause? Putting up campaign signs appears to be the answer. There’s technically a window before which campaign signs aren’t allowed in Salisbury, but who really knew when the election would be held? Now, early voting is set to start in late April.

A three-judge panel on Wednesday accepted a legislator redraw of N.C. House and Senate maps, but it tossed out congressional maps that would have placed nearly all of the county in the 8th Congressional District and the northwestern tip in the 10th District. The Post published the maps on page 3A of Sunday’s newspaper.

A map of the new congressional district is on page 6A of today’s newspaper.

The new congressional map was drawn by “special masters” — a Republican former N.C. Supreme Court judge, a Democrat who was president of the UNC System, and a former Supreme Court judge who’s unaffiliated. The newest map puts all of Rowan County in the 8th Congressional District, but there’s a twist in the fact that Rep. Richard Hudson is drawn out of his longtime district and into the blue 12th District, which extends into Mecklenburg County.

There will be plenty of time to digest in more detail what the new congressional map means for state politics, but for now it’s nice to finally start the 2022 election, particularly important local races such as sheriff, district attorney, judges and county commissioners.