From an editorial Dec. 26 in the Raleigh News & Observer:
Make no mistake. Republicans who took charge of drawing legislative and congressional district lines after the 2010 census didn’t invent the game of sketching the districts to give them a partisan advantage in electing legislators and members of Congress of their party.
Yes, the Democrats who ran the show in North Carolina did that for decades.
That’s what happens when lawmakers are put in charge of drawing districts. They want to stay in power. So after a census, they get out the maps and commence to get creative with district lines, even if it means districts look more like ink blots.
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Now at issue, and regrettably upheld by the N.C. Supreme Court, are the legislative and district maps drawn by Republicans in 2011. Those fighting the maps, including the NAACP, say with good cause that the maps packed African-Americans into certain districts to weaken their influence in others. Black voters tend to be Democratic voters.
Advocates claimed they had to draw the districts the way they did to ensure minority representation under the federal Voting Rights Act. Now the issue may move to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The confrontation could be avoided if North Carolina followed the lead of Ohio, where Republicans in control participated in putting together a plan to have a bipartisan process for drawing voting districts.
Would that North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers would follow that lead.