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Meeker, Vinroot lead push for nonpartisan redistricting

Posted May 8, 2014

Voting map

— Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot are leading an effort to end gerrymandering in North Carolina and put a nonpartisan panel in charge of drawing new congressional and legislative districts every 10 years.

North Carolinians to End Gerrymandering Now wants to build a coalition of support starting at the local level, the former mayors said Thursday.

"Local elected officials have a good sense of what their constituents want," said Meeker, a Democrat. "By encouraging the North Carolina General Assembly to set up a nonpartisan redistricting system, they will be a voice for the thousands of North Carolinians who want this change.”

Nonpartisan redistricting will be good for both the state and both political parties, said Vinroot, a Republican.

"Ending gerrymandering will ensure that no party out of power is marginalized without a voice," he said. "Taking the politics out of the process will be an insurance policy for both parties."

Meeker said the change would increase public confidence in government.

"North Carolina can create a 21st century redistricting process that creates fair districts that are compact and competitive," he said.

Nearly half of the 170 seats in the General Assembly are already set for next year because the legislative districts were drawn to favor one party, so there is no challenger in the November general election.

Several former lawmakers and groups such as the NAACP have pending lawsuits against the voting maps drawn by the Republican-led legislature in 2011. They allege the districts leave minority voters at a disadvantage and split too many counties and precincts.

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  • Wheelman May 12, 2014

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    Because we do not have a form of government where the majority rules. Our country and our state are not democracies. They are representative republics. It is designed that way just so the majority cannot dominate and ignore the rights of the minority. You can thank the libs for the Voting Rights Act that created the need for all the crazy districts. They are based upon both population and racial/minority as a way to insure representation for the minorities. The Feds have already approved the current districts. To do it strictly by population would violate the current laws. While the Repubs cry foul when the Dems do it and the Dems when the Repubs do it, we managed to elect a Republican controlled legislature under districts drawn by a Democrat controlled legislature. The opposite will probably happen again. Politics is all about power, and those who are in power want to stay there. Always been that way and always will.

  • kjones026 May 12, 2014

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    If your stated numbers are even close to being correct, it's because not all Democrats are liberal. We still have lots of conservative Dems in this great state, and I hope they stay that way. Independents need no explanation.

  • roguejam May 11, 2014

    Districts should be a grouping of zip codes. Would be nice if that was bipartisan, but at least that would help with gerrymandering.

  • early exit Roy May 11, 2014

    Since the dems are not n control of the house and senate in nc, sure they want to make the change. If they were still on control you would not have heard about this. It's all about the dems. I hope thr repubs has the guts to say no to this.

  • 1jalapeno May 10, 2014

    Does anybody wonder why voter turnout was low and is low even in "presidential" elections when you consider the number of citizens over 18 who could vote if they thought it mattered.

  • Paul Donovan May 9, 2014
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    This is hilarious. When the Dems were in power and doing the same thing, but worse, the GOP proposed setting up a bipartisan commission to do redistricting based on 10 year census numbers. The Dems always were against this. Now, that the shoe is on the other foot for the first time in over 100 years, they no longer like the system they setup and profited from for all those years. Sheer hypocrisy !

  • notexactly May 9, 2014

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    I actually agree with you on that.

  • notexactly May 9, 2014

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    Its not funny, but the same has happened to the reps because of the district maps. I agree it is not right.

  • Greg Boop May 9, 2014
    user avatar

    This is long overdue. The partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina is absurd.

  • Objective Scientist May 9, 2014

    To see the challenge we all face in our politics/society today... all you need to do is read the posts to this article. If our elected representatives are a reflection of those who elected them - "us" - no wonder they can't get anything done! It seems that if someone wins an election - even by one-tenth of one percent - they believe they have license to do whatever they wish... including redraw voting districts to guarantee their re-election. Yes... Democrats did the gerrymandering thing for years. Yes... the Republicans - as soon as they gained power - have done the same! And "NO!!!", it is NOT right whoever does it!!! Guess who gets "jerked around" in this charade called "democracy"? Us... the ELECTORATE!!! We have to insist that this STOP!!! I've been for nonpartisan redistricting FOREVER... and I'm neither Democrat nor Republican, but a very VERY INDEPENDENT independent... have been for decades! Stop this blatant partisan practice NOW!

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