Proposed Legislative District Maps Show Big Changes In Guilford County

Proposed Legislative District Maps Show Big Changes In Guilford County

5:41pm Nov 14, 2017
This shows the proposed changes to some Guilford County districts. Picture credit: The U.S District Court For The Middle District of North Carolina court document.

An outside expert appointed by a federal court has released his proposed changes to North Carolina’s statehouse districts. The changes were ordered because the previous maps were ruled unconstitutional.

Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily has filed his preliminary House and Senate plans.

He has requested formal responses from the Republican leaders who originally drew the boundaries and from voters who wanted them changed.

The judges have said four districts redrawn last summer by GOP legislators still appeared to preserve illegal racial bias, so Persily said he redrew more compact replacements. He also retooled several districts around Charlotte, Raleigh, and elsewhere.

Catawba College Political Science Professor Michael Bitzer says some of the biggest changes are right here in the Triad.

“Doing a little bit of tweaking may not necessarily move a whole lot of these districts, but in Guilford, particularly with the Senate District and more importantly I think with the House Districts, we could see some fundamental reshaping of who occupies those particular districts come the next election,” says Bitzer.

Currently, the GOP has a super majority in both the House and Senate. It's not immediately clear how alterations could affect the Republican legislative majorities.

“It could certainly favor Democrats to at least break the supermajority, but I would be hard pressed unless it’s a tsunami kind of an election to see how Democrats truly do recapture control of both chambers,” he says.

The court has set a December 1 deadline for the map expert to complete his final proposal.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

Copyright 2017 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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