At first glance, HB69 Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission seemed like a good bill, although far from perfect. After reading through it, now it appears further from perfect than I realized.
The N.C. League of Women Voters published a white paper last year, “Emerging Alternatives for Reasonable Redistricting Reform,” in which they outlined five basic principles for a redistricting commission. They are:
1. Include the legislature in the process, such as naming some of
2. Include citizens and/or impartial experts as commission
3. Set strict rules for the commission’s work that: applies traditional redistricting standards (compact, contiguous, keep local government units and communities of interest whole), does not allow the use of partisan data or partisan objectives, and uses voting rules that require bipartisan support for the maps.
4. Provide for extensive citizen participation and transparency.
5. Make the maps final on the commission’s vote.
I endorsed these principles when running for NC Senate 16. They appealed to me because they recognized political reality. To get anything done, a reform plan must include a role for the legislative leaders. Unfortunately, HB69 gives them too much of a role.
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina has joined a coalition to end gerrymandering in the state.
North Carolinians to End Gerrymandering Now is led by former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a Republican, and former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat. The coalition, formed last month, will work to bring a nonpartisan redistricting process to North Carolina.
“The Libertarian Party is pleased to join this multi-partisan effort,” said LPNC Chair J.J. Summerell. “Libertarians believe voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.”
During its annual state convention in April the party adopted a platform plank calling for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process.
Press release from the Libertarian Party of North Carolina
RALEIGH (April 15) – Adding a plank supporting an independent, non-partisan redistricting process was one of the changes made to the platform at the Libertarian Party of North Carolina state convention held April 4-5 in Durham.
Libertarians also adopted a plank calling for proportional representation for the state legislature.
The new redistricting plank reads:
Voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around. We support a redistricting process conducted by an independent, non-partisan agency for all local, state, and federal electoral districts. The process should be open and transparent. It should involve significant public input with the opportunity for citizens to weigh in on proposed district maps.
Party registration, voting history data, and the incumbent’s place of residence should not be used to create the districts.