Apr. 20, 2015
Contact: Bryan Warner, Common Cause NC, 919-836-0027 or

Common Cause NC responds to US Supreme Court action on NC voting maps

RALEIGH - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a previous ruling that had upheld North Carolina's congressional and legislative voting maps, instead ordering the N.C. Supreme Court to review those districts once again. The decision comes in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that found Alabama lawmakers relied too heavily on race when crafting that state's voting maps.

The following is a statement from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, in response to Monday's U.S. Supreme Court action:

"Today's Supreme Court announcement shows once again that North Carolina's redistricting process is highly dysfunctional and in need of reform. Since 1980, our state's voting maps have been challenged in court more than three dozen times, leading to costly litigation and uncertainty for our elections. North Carolina deserves better.

"Fortunately, a bipartisan majority of N.C. House members have voiced their support for meaningful reform by co-sponsoring House Bill 92, which would take the power of redistricting out of the hands of partisan lawmakers and give it to nonpartisan legislative staff. The measure would reduce the influence of partisan politics in the way our voting maps are created, while strengthening voter confidence in the integrity of our elections. We hope today's court decision will further motivate lawmakers to pass this vital reform this session."

Under North Carolina's long-standing system, whichever party controls the legislature also controls the decennial redistricting process. The result has been gerrymandered districts created by both Republican and Democratic majorities that heavily favor their own party and reduce competition on Election Day. Since 1992, nearly half of North Carolina's legislative races have had just one name on the ballot.

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.

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