Once again, North Carolina’s elections are under a cloud. A U.S. District Court panel just ruled two Congressional districts unconstitutional.
The people of North Carolina deserve a process where they choose their representatives, not the other way around. When it reconvenes in April, the state House should immediately consider and bring to a vote House Bill 92 to establish a nonpartisan redistricting process.
Under this bill, the redistricting plan would be drawn up by a legislative office and submitted to the legislature for an up or down vote. It is based on the system used in Iowa successfully for years.
For decades, North Carolina has had the most litigated redistricting process in the nation. Both Democrats and Republicans put partisan politics ahead of the interests of the people. As a result, elections were delayed and representation denied.
When the Democrats controlled the process, the Republicans cried foul and challenged the plans in court. Now that Republicans are in power, they act no better. Whichever party is on top invariably acts in the same, self-serving way.
Even though only two Congressional districts were ruled unconstitutional, redrawing the lines will have a ripple effect in adjoining districts. The problem goes far beyond using race to draw lines. The process is fundamentally flawed. The people of North Carolina need and deserve better.
The state Libertarian Party supports an independent, nonpartisan, open, and transparent redistricting process. Party registration, voting history data, and the incumbent’s place of residence shouldn’t be considered when drawing district lines.