Partisan gerrymandering deprives voters of a voice in elections

This week I would like to talk about my home district, NC Congressional District 10, and how gerrymandering has produced an unfair partisan advantage there.

Although I have only recently obtained the privilege to study, live and work in Raleigh for the past year at NC State, most of my time as a North Carolinian has been spent as a resident of Lincoln County. This is a relatively small county with about 80,000 residents located west of Charlotte in Congressional District 10. Continue reading

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US Supreme Court agrees to hear potentially landmark case on partisan gerrymandering

The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a lawsuit from Wisconsin challenging the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. The case could be crucial to finally ending gerrymandering across the nation.

That’s because while various court rulings have made it clear that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional, the US Supreme Court has not yet made a decisive ruling on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.

As such, partisan gerrymandering has been seen as the last refuge of politicians who want to manipulate voting maps at the expense of fair and competitive elections. Continue reading

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Susan B. Anthony and the crime of voting

It was 144 years ago today – June 18, 1873 – that Susan B. Anthony was convicted of breaking the law.

Her crime: voting in the 1872 presidential election. Continue reading

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We need fair maps & fair elections in NC

This week, I decided to elaborate on some personal thoughts regarding recent occurrences that encompass gerrymandering in North Carolina.

On May 22, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that two of North Carolina’s congressional districts were gerrymandered on racial grounds in 2011.

The importance of this decision lies with the fact that the Supreme Court saw that Districts 1 and 12 relied too heavily on race, with lawmakers “packing” African-American voters into these oddly shaped districts. This tactic diluted the voting power of African-Americans while enhancing the Republicans’ partisan advantage.

Continue reading

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It’s time for more Millennials to join the fight for fair voting maps

I admit, in the face of the poor weather on that Monday, I was worried our turnout would be … less than great for the People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting at the NC legislature.

I have been to more than a couple of public political gatherings, so I know the painful cringe of an event with a “fringe” appearance. Gerrymandering is important, but it’s not the most exciting thing – even within the current political climate of North Carolina.

That’s why personally marking down the names of dozens upon dozens of attendees who arrived for the people’s hearing was a very gratifying thing for a guy on his third day working as an intern with Common Cause NC. Continue reading

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A glimmer of hope in the push for fair voting maps

Speaking at the People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting at the NC General Assembly on June 5  was a great experience. While I may have been one of the few participants at the hearing who had conservative leanings, I felt the principles involved should be shared by all Americans.

In speaking against something that has hindered our great democracy, I wanted to express that the bottom line is gerrymandering has to end. The problem of partisan redistricting is something that both parties should be able to agree on. This issue should matter to both Democrats and Republicans equally. Continue reading

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A front-row seat at the People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting

It was an interesting first day at work for me as I began my summer internship working for Common Cause North Carolina. I was told that I would be heading down to the legislative building in downtown Raleigh to attend and help conduct a “People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting.”

Common Cause NC organized the people’s hearing with the purpose of offering North Carolinians the opportunity to voice their support for the passage HB200. I was asked to say a few words regarding redistricting and the need for reform in North Carolina. Continue reading

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Gerrymandering blocks the path for college students to engage in democracy

My parents moved from the greater New York area to New Hanover County in the summer of 2014. While I’ve only spent a total of eight months in Wilmington since moving, I feel great pride in being able to call it home. It’s a mix of coastline, industry and college campuses; traditional Southern values and a blossoming “hip” scene; areas that exist in pockets throughout the township.

Because of my association with Wilmington, I am tasked with speaking with my representatives from New Hanover County about Common Cause’s forthcoming court case challenging partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina. Continue reading

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Welcome to the new CCNC Democracy Blog

Common Cause NC is excited to have five outstanding interns working with us for the summer of 2017:

• Carl Gilmore of Hampden-Sydney College
• Noah Johnson of NC State University
• Matt Mengert of UNC-Chapel Hill
• Beñat Quartararo of UNC-Asheville
• Mary Rippe of UNC-Chapel Hill

Throughout their time with Common Cause NC, our terrific team of interns will contribute to this blog with insight into the vital issues we work on to protect and strengthen democracy in North Carolina.

We welcome Beñat, Carl, Mary, Matt and Noah to the CCNC team!

 

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