Comments On New Voting Maps Due Friday

Nov 15, 2017

Friday is the deadline for submitting suggestions to the Stanford University law professor tasked with re-drafting North Carolina's legislative maps.

A federal judicial panel appointed the so-called special master to fix flaws in the maps submitted by Republican lawmakers.

Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily filed his preliminary House and Senate plans and requested formal responses from Republican legislative leaders who originally drew the boundaries and from voters who successfully sued over them.

The draft maps put Representative Grier Martin in a Wake County district with another Democratic incumbent, Cynthia Ball. But Martin is not that concerned because these maps are just a first draft.

"The special master intentionally did not take into account where incumbents live and he notes that he's got a mandate from the court to actually account for that in the final maps," Martin said.

The judges wants Persily's final proposal by Dec. 1.

The judges have said four districts redrawn last summer by GOP legislators still appeared to preserve illegal racial bias, so Persily said he redrew compact replacements for them. He also retooled several districts in and around Charlotte and Raleigh because of potential state constitutional problems.

It's not immediately clear how alterations could affect the GOP's legislative majorities.

First draft of the special master's proposed Senate districts in Cumberland and Hoke counties compared with previous maps.
Credit Nathaniel Persily / Stanford

To the common eye, at least, the special master's districts appear to be less selectively drawn. Consider the districts in Hoke and Cumberland counties from 2011 and 2017 compared with the proposed lines (see map to left).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.