Governor: Dems Will Cede Mapping Powers If They Retake Legislature

Governor: Dems Will Cede Mapping Powers If They Retake Legislature

8:16am Jul 17, 2017
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. Credit: www.roycooper.com

North Carolina’s governor says Democrats will give up their right to draw the state’s political lines should the party regain control of the legislature as way to address charges of gerrymandering.

Gov. Roy Cooper made the pledge during the party’s annual meeting in Raleigh.

He says if Democrats win General Assembly majorities in 2020, they'll move to an independent, nonpartisan commission to shape districts for seats in the legislature and Congress.

The party in control of the legislature gets to draw those maps every decade after the national census. Critics of the current system say that gives them the power to pick their voters rather than the voters picking them.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than two dozen legislative districts were illegally designed on racial grounds. A federal court plans a hearing later this month to decide when new districts should be drawn and new elections held.

Republicans had pitched an independent committee in the years before taking control of the legislature in 2011. Democrats rejected the overture. Now that the GOP is in control, their leadership has also blocked efforts for nonpartisan redistricting.

Support your
public radio station