We need to end gerrymandering for good in North Carolina by creating a citizens redistricting commission to draw fair voting districts that reflect our state, protect communities and put people above politics.
We need the Fair Maps Act.
Introduced in the 2021 legislative session, the Fair Maps Act (House Bill 437) would amend North Carolina’s constitution to permanently take redistricting power out of the hands of partisan legislators and entrust it with an independent commission comprised of everyday North Carolinians to draw the state’s voting districts free from political influence.
If passed by the NC General Assembly, the proposed constitutional amendment would be placed before voters statewide in 2022. If ultimately approved by voters, the citizens commission would be established to oversee North Carolina’s redistricting process thereafter. The citizens redistricting commission would have an equal number of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters.
This legislation provides lasting, nonpartisan reform that would end gerrymandering for good in North Carolina. The Fair Maps Acts would stop the practice of politicians manipulating our voting districts and it would ensure voters have a true voice in choosing their representatives.
About the Fair Maps Act:
- The Fair Maps Act would amend North Carolina’s constitution to create a citizens redistricting commission.
- If adopted by the NC General Assembly, the proposed constitutional amendment would be put before North Carolina voters statewide in 2022. And if approved by voters, the citizens redistricting commission would be responsible for any legislative or congressional redistricting thereafter.
- The citizens redistricting commission would have final approval of districts; there would be no role for the NC General Assembly in redistricting.
- The citizens redistricting commission would draw districts that are equal in population, contiguous and compact, as well as fully complying with the U.S. Constitution and federal law. The commission would strive to avoid splitting counties, municipalities or communities of interest.
- The commission would have 15 members – five Republicans, five Democrats and five members who are neither Republicans or Democrats. The bill prohibits lobbyists, major political donors or relatives of legislators from serving on the commission.
- The commission would be required to hold at least 20 public meetings – 10 before the plan is drawn and 10 after an initial plan is created but before it is finalized.
- The commission would make resources available to members of the public to permit them to draw their own maps, understand the process and submit comments.
- Adoption of a plan would require a vote of at least nine members of the commission, including at least three members from each subgroup (Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated).
- If the commission were unable to adopt a plan, it would hire a special master to draw the districts.