For ‘Fair District’ NC Needs an Independent Redistricting Commission

The establishment parties have proven they’re not only unable but unwilling to draw district lines fairly. We need to take that power away from them, not give them another chance to abuse it.

Brian Irving, former LPNC chair

LPNC Press Release

RALEIGH (Sept. 4) – The Libertarian Party of North Carolina applauds yesterday’s ruling by a state Superior Court panel that orders changes to the state’s legislative district map. But the party also warns that sending the job back to state lawmakers is the wrong solution, and calls for the appointment of an independent commission to do the job instead.

Brian Irving, the LPNC liaison to the Fair Districts NC Coalition, issued the following statement on behalf of the party:

“The establishment parties have proven they’re not only unable but unwilling to draw district lines fairly. We need to take that power away from them, not give them another chance to abuse it.

“The proper solution is to create a fully independent redistricting commission along the lines outlined in Senate Bill 673.

“Nearly 15 years ago, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina argued that our state’s restrictive ballot access laws also violated the equal protection, free elections, and freedom of speech and assembly clauses of the state constitution. At the time, the state Supreme Court disagreed. We are grateful that this panel has ruled otherwise.

“However, placing the execution of this new ruling in the hands of the legislature is asking the foxes to redesign the henhouse―again. The point of ‘fair districts’ is to give voters fair representation, not to give two entrenched parties a fair chance to divvy up the vote. More than one-third of the state’s voters have chosen not to affiliate with either establishment party.”

To learn more about the LPNC’s position on redistricting reform, or to contact an LPNC representative for further comment, please email press@lpnc.org. Or call Brian Irving directly at (919) 538-4548.

Let the People Choose Who Represents Them

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.