A study commissioned by a good-government group documents the unsurprising finding that redistricting in North Carolina has long been used by the party in power to disenfranchise voters who don’t support them.
In 1992, Democrats received 52 percent of the votes in the state House but took 67 percent of the seats. In the Senate, Democrats won 55 percent of the votes and held 78 percent of the seats.
Twenty years later, Republicans received 54 percent of the vote for House and hold 64 percent of the seats, while holding 66 percent of the Senate seats even though the vote was split 50-50.
The study was done by Larry King and Mark Nance for the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform.
And a poll by SurveyUSA for the N.C. Center for Voter Education released last week shows that 70 percent of North Carolinians think redistricting should be done by a nonpartisan professional legislative staff, the Coalition notes.
All this is meant to give a nudge to House Bill 606, introduced last month, that would create a system of nonpartisan map-drawing by an independent staff guided by three principles: keeping districts compact, contiguous and aligned with state and federal law.
Sixty-one Democratic and Republican House members have signed on to the bill.