Mar. 10, 2016
Contact: Bryan Warner, Common Cause NC, 919-836-0027 or

Survey: Where do NCGA candidates stand on redistricting reform?

RALEIGH – A survey released Thursday by the nonpartisan public-interest group Common Cause NC shows where many of this year's legislative primary candidates stand on redistricting reform.

All candidates running in Mar. 15 primary races for the NC House or Senate were asked: "Will you support legislation that ends the practice of lawmakers drawing their own districts and allows for an independent, nonpartisan entity to produce legislative and congressional maps?"

While many candidates did not respond to the survey, among those that did there was a strong sign of bipartisan agreement, with 17 Republican and 24 Democratic candidates saying they would support independent redistricting. Several other candidates declined to give a firm response to the question, but said they are open to reform.

All survey responses can be found at CommonCauseNC.org/survey.

In North Carolina, the legislature is tasked with redrawing the state's congressional and legislative voting maps after each 10-year census. However, the redistricting process has for decades been mired in partisanship, controversy and costly litigation under both Democratic and Republican control. Just last month, a federal court found North Carolina's congressional maps were racially gerrymandered and ordered that they be redrawn.

"At a time when there has been so much controversy over the way voting maps are drawn in North Carolina, it's heartening to see some bipartisan support for independent redistricting among this year's primary candidates," said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. "We are hopeful that lawmakers will move forward on creating a fair and impartial redistricting process for our state."

There has been a growing bipartisan movement in North Carolina to take partisan politics out of the map-drawing process by entrusting redistricting to an independent body. Last year, a majority of NC House members co-sponsored House Bill 92, which would take the power of redistricting out of the hands of partisan lawmakers and give it to nonpartisan legislative staff. However, that bill has not been given a vote in the legislature.

At the same time, over 240 civic leaders across North Carolina have signed a petition calling on the legislature to pass redistricting reform.

Common Cause North Carolina is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

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