The North Carolina Senate will debate a congressional map Tuesday that critics said will give Republicans more of an advantage.
The Senate Committee on Redistricting and Elections approved the proposed map Monday. It shifts district lines to accommodate a new congressional seat that the state picked up because of population growth. The new 14th Congressional District would include 15 counties in western North Carolina if the Senate map is approved.
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave the overall map an F grade for fairness. It predicts the map would give Republicans 10 of the 14 seats, or a “significant Republican advantage.” Democrats in the committee rejected the map Monday.
Sen. Wiley Nickel, D-Wake, accused Republicans of gerrymandering.
“You are cheating and robbing the voters of any real vote at the ballot box with this map,” Nickel said.
Republicans said they have kept the redistricting “transparent” and considered the public input in the process.
The state's congressional delegation jumped from 13 to 14 representatives after its population increased from 9,565,781 after the 2010 census to 10,453,948 after the 2020 census. Princeton predicts the proposed 14th District will give Republicans 53% of the vote.
Republicans currently hold eight of the seats following the 2020 elections, which was the first election since the court ordered the legislative maps unconstitutional and ordered them redrawn.
The new proposed map would shift the recently flipped District 6 out of Guilford County east to Orange and Durham counties and to part of Wake County. The seat was held by a Republican since 1985 until Democrat Rep. Kathy Manning won the seat in November 2020. Princeton predicted the proposed district's vote would be majority Democrat, as well as Districts 2, 5 and 9.
Guilford County, on the drafted remap, would be split into three districts – 7, 10 and 11 – currently held by Republicans.
The House Committee on Redistricting is expected Monday night to debate legislative maps for the state House of Representatives.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Common Cause filed a lawsuit Friday, asking a judge to stop the maps from being drafted without first examining racial data.
House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said the groups “reached a new low” by filing a lawsuit before the maps have been adopted.”
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