If you live in a â€œswing stateâ€ like North Carolina or Texas, or have more than a passing interest in democracy, you are probably aware of how severely Republicans have gerrymandered state and federal electoral districts. Rather than voters being able to pick our representatives, they have drawn lines to pick the voters they want, and packed the rest of us into as few districts as possible. Itâ€™s been remarkably effective and has led to passing legislation like HB2 with total impunity since the GOP leaders know their majority canâ€™t be threatened with the current districts, even though our state actually has way more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Donâ€™t believe it? I just looked up the latest stats from the state board of elections, and as of 7/29/17 we had 39% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 30% unaffiliated, and less than 1% Libertarian. (Unaffiliated has been growing rapidly, for good reason. Donâ€™t make the mistake of assuming these are centrist voters.) Meanwhile our NC senate is 68% Republican and our house representatives are 62% Republican.
You might also know that The Supreme Court found that NCâ€™s districts are racially gerrymandered and told the state legislature to redraw them and hold a special election ASAP. I was skeptical that Republicans wouldnâ€™t just redraw them in a way that ensured their majorities but didnâ€™t follow racial lines as closely. But in fact, they havenâ€™t even done that. They have been filing appeals and dragging their feet, as explained in the timeline in this very helpful article by NC Policy Watch, â€œRepublicans silent in wake of court order to draw new maps in one monthâ€.
So the NC house and senate redistricting committees are now taking comments online, and they are meeting tomorrow so itâ€™s a great time to let them know that you value representative democracy.Continue reading "Speak up now to restore democracy in North Carolina"