Poll: Majority of NC voters want nonpartisan redistricting

A solid majority of North Carolina voters want a nonpartisan system for drawing the state’s election districts, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling.

The poll finds 59 percent of voters support drawing congressional and legislative districts in a nonpartisan fashion. Just 15 percent of voters would oppose that reform.

Looking at party affiliation, 62 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independent voters favor nonpartisan redistricting. Among Republicans, 45 percent support nonpartisan redistricting, with 21 percent opposed.

The survey comes as redistricting continues to be a hot topic in North Carolina. This month, a federal court ruled in the landmark case of Common Cause v. Rucho that the Republican-controlled legislature had unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts for partisan advantage and ordered the maps be redrawn.

In a separate case, federal judges ordered the adoption of new legislative districts drawn by an independent special master after those crafted by lawmakers were found to be racial gerrymanders.

The poll’s results indicate continued strong public support for removing politics from the redistricting process.

One possibility for reform is found in House Bill 200, which would take map-drawing responsibility out of the hands of partisan legislators and instead give that power to an independent body, which in turn would create districts free from partisan politics.

That bill has bipartisan support in the state House, but so far legislative leaders have denied it a vote.

Conducted Jan. 19-21 by Public Policy Polling, the statewide survey of 839 registered North Carolina voters has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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