Feb. 17, 2015
Contact: Bryan Warner, Common Cause NC, 919-836-0027 or
Bipartisan redistricting reform bill filed in NC House
RALEIGH - A bipartisan bill was filed on Monday that would establish an impartial system for drawing North Carolina's voting maps.
House Bill 92 would take the power of creating the state's congressional and legislative districts out of the hands of partisan lawmakers and give it to nonpartisan legislative staff. The bill's primary sponsors are Reps. Paul Stam (R-Wake), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Grier Martin (D-Wake) and Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson).
"For decades, North Carolina's flawed redistricting system has resulted in gerrymandered districts that deprive voters of having a real voice in their elections," said Bob Phillips, executive director of the nonpartisan Common Cause North Carolina. "We applaud these Republican and Democratic lawmakers for working together to pass reform that would protect the fundamental right of voters to choose their representatives."
Since 1992, an average of 43 percent of North Carolina legislative races have had only one candidate on the ballot. This lack of competition has largely been due to gerrymandered districts, created by both Democratic and Republican legislative majorities over the years.
The plan proposed by House Bill 92 is patterned after the system used successfully by Iowa since 1980. Fourteen states around the country have passed redistricting reform, including Republican-led Ohio in 2014.
A 2013 poll commissioned by the nonpartisan N.C. Center for Voter Education found 70 percent of North Carolina voters in favor of creating an impartial redistricting process, including 73 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents.
More information on redistricting reform efforts in North Carolina can be found at EndGerrymanderingNow.org.
Common Cause North Carolina is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.