Keith Brown on Redistricting
I’ve been busy the last few days and had missed Keith Brown‘s excellent Op-Ed at the High Point Enterprise on Sunday:
The North Carolina General Assembly website, in regard to redistricting, states that division of counties must be minimized and in those cluster of counties where we do see crossover, as in Guilford County, it should group them and divide the clusters into compact single-member districts, crossing county lines within the cluster as little as possible…
Does Bingham need to be in Guilford County at all, with 5.14 percent of our population? I would say no. We have seen in the past where the gerrymandering of these districts has really taken a turn for the worse because of noncompetition and party affiliation as part of the process. This is seen where both Bingham and Berger take a huge population of Republican voters out of Guilford County and keep their districts safe for them. This in turn gives the advantage to the Democratic Party in Guilford County to keep a strong hold on the other two Senate seats.
Last week, it was announced that U.S. House Republicans would be redesigning Brad Miller‘s gerrymandered district.
And of course, this week we had the Greensboro City Council’s surprise changes to Mary Rakestraw‘s District 4.
Over the space of a few days, gerrymandering and the correction of it has put budget concerns on the back burner as newly empowered conservatives at every level seek to change the battle lines to their advantage. Thankfully, the DOJ is standing by to make sure everyone plays fair, although I doubt their efficacy, seeing how things got so screwed up in the first place.
And then you have Mel Watt‘s intentionally gerrymandered U.S. House 12th District snaking along I-85 from Gastonia to Durham designed to give black voters a better shot at representation.
It’s a complex subject and I don’t envy anyone who tries to understand it. But I agree with Keith that we should follow the laws and keep the lines as simple as possible.