As filing period begins, CCNC urges voters to ask NCGA candidates where they stand on nonpartisan redistricting

RALEIGH – Candidate filing for North Carolina’s legislative, congressional and other non-judicial races kicks off at noon on Monday. All 120 NC House seats and all 50 NC Senate seats will be up for election this fall.

As the 2018 legislative election season begins in earnest, Common Cause NC urges North Carolina voters to ask candidates where they stand on ending gerrymandering and enacting nonpartisan redistricting reform.

“Gerrymandering continues to be a crucial issue in North Carolina, with ongoing court cases impacting the state’s legislative and congressional voting districts. At the same time, we see overwhelming public support for enacting a fair redistricting process that would create voting maps free from partisan politics,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC.

“Any permanent fix to the state’s broken redistricting system would ultimately need to be approved by the legislature,” Phillips added. “As such, we encourage voters to ask General Assembly candidates if they will commit to supporting nonpartisan redistricting reform.”

Last February, House Bill 200 was filed by a bipartisan coalition of 39 NC House members, led by four Republicans. That bill would take redistricting power out of the hands of legislators and instead have an independent body draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts free from partisan politics.  While the bill has strong bipartisan support in the NC House and among the public, Republican legislative leaders have so far refused to give the bill a hearing or a vote in that chamber.

A similar proposal passed the NC House with broad bipartisan support in 2011, but stalled that year in the NC Senate.

A survey last month from Public Policy Polling finds nearly 60 percent of North Carolina voters favor a nonpartisan redistricting system, with just 15 percent opposed to such a reform. Meanwhile, over 100 business owners have launched a coalition calling for an end to gerrymandering. And more than 250 locally elected officials from 130 towns and cities across the state have asked the legislature to take politics out of the way our voting maps are drawn.

Common Cause NC is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.