July 1, 2016
Contact: Bryan Warner, Common Cause NC, 919-836-0027 or
CCNC statement on Wake school board, commissioner districts being ruled unconstitutional
RALEIGH – A federal court on Friday ruled that new Wake County school board and county commissioner districts drawn by the Republican-led NC legislature are unconstitutional violations of equal representation and blocked their usage for this fall's elections.
The decision follows a separate court ruling earlier this year that found two of the state's congressional districts to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered along racial lines, which resulted in delayed congressional primary elections. Similarly, Friday's decision could mean delays in elections for Wake County school board and county commissioner seats.
The following is a statement from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, in response to Friday's court ruling:
"Today's court decision is a clear example of why partisan legislators should not meddle in drawing local voting districts to benefit their own party. And it is a troubling reminder of the controversy and chaos caused by partisan politicians manipulating voting maps.
"As we can see from this latest ruling – and the many other court cases related to redistricting over the past three decades – North Carolina voters deserve a redistricting process that is free from partisanship and truly independent.
"It is only through impartial redistricting reform that our state can be spared these costly court battles and delayed elections caused by partisan gerrymandering."
Common Cause North Carolina is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.