On redistricting

Taylor Batten, editorial page editor of the Charlotte Observer, wrote yesterday about redistricting reform. Though I hold zero hope for the idea, I do sympathize with his call for a saner approach to drawing districts.

That said, the laughable legislation proposed by North Carolina Republicans isn't it.

Those bills would throw out the current procedure. Instead of elected politicians having an incentive to protect themselves and their parties, an independent commission would draw the new lines. The 11-member commission would be made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and three independents. None could be a current or recent elected official, a lobbyist, a party official or have intimate ties to the governor, the legislature or Congress.

Intimate ties? What the heck does that mean?

Comments

Saner approach doesn't mean we give up our hard won

right to lead the process. You're right. It's laughable.

Don't you think transparency - as expensive as it is to implement - might help with keeping those just trying to protect themselves in line? The internet really isn't all that expensive.

What would really be fun is if someone had the knowledge, skill and free time to come up with some type of interactive map with current districts, population changes, etc so that those of us with nothing better to do could try our hand at redrawing districts. We would see how hard it is. Imagine as we draw each perfect district if the surrounding districts changed color to indicate how much they were thrown off balance. It would probably shut a lot of people up when they see how difficult the process really is.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

interactive mapper here

What would really be fun is if someone had the knowledge, skill and free time to come up with some type of interactive map with current districts, population changes, etc so that those of us with nothing better to do could try our hand at redrawing districts. We would see how hard it is. Imagine as we draw each perfect district if the surrounding districts changed color to indicate how much they were thrown off balance. It would probably shut a lot of people up when they see how difficult the process really is.

Try your hand with our online interactive mapper
http://www.ncleg.net/GIS/RandR07/MapApp.html

THAT is not very helpful.

Could you post a simple 30 step process for using that system?
; )

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

US Supreme Court ruled today on NC redistricting case

5-4 decision

This may or may not be the place to have this discussion (perhaps a new thread when I have a chance to write).

Today's decision is an NC case and will directly affect redistricting in NC after 2010.

Full decision here

 

Circles and Squares

I'd like to have all representative districts broken down into tight areas that were roughly circular or square. I don't care who it benefits.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Before the last redistricting, Moore County was represented by 5

state senators. Unbelievable. Now, we're represented by 2, one of whom happens to be Joe Hackney, so I'm cool with that for now.

However, it seems to me that counties should never be split into 5 different pieces.

Redistricting is a maze of never ending rule changes

As today's US Supreme Court opinion essentially threw out their last cohesive directive to NC (the Gingles decision), it simply reemphasizes the ever-changing rules that legislators must decipher when drawing districts.

District drawers are liable for rules set out by the US Constitution, US Court rulings, US statute, NC Constitution, NC Court rulings, and NC statute.

Often, these six types of directives are at odds with each other and always arise in lawsuits from one side or another.

You would think that the order of priority would fall as I have listed above, until you get a plurality on the US Supreme Court changing its mind as it did today to say, "No, we didn't mean our last ruling in Gingles. Your NC Supreme Court trumps our previous ruling and common interpration of US statute (the Voting Rights Act). So sorry, redraw again. Oh, and we're not committing to any guidance, so we can change our mind again."

At least Justice Ginsburg's dissent today directly asked Congress to address this issue.

 

I'm going to force myself to read the entire opinion

I already forwarded it to a professor since we are scheduled to have a redistricting class in the coming weeks. All you ever wanted to know, but were too confused to ask.

I had a great professor at ECU, Tinsley Yarborough, who wrote a great book about the NC redistricting cases. I'll have to dig thru my bookshelf and kill a weekend reading it.

Redistricting syndrome

One consequence, or perhaps "presequence" of redistricting is that legislators will become more politically cautious as the time approaches, to avoid upsets. What that means for progressives is that now is the time to act if you want change. Otherwise play defense until after redistricting.

looking forward to redistricting

I can see Democratic State Senate and State House districts from the corner of my property. All I ask is that they move the line 300'.