Proposed changes to the House 113 district redistribution map
A redistricting map released Friday by the chairman of the House Redistricting Committee would remove Transylvania County from House District 113 and replace it with western Rutherford County.
Currently, the seat of NC House District 113, owned by Jake Johnson of Saluda, is made up of Polk and Transylvania counties and southern Henderson County. The seat of District 117 held by Tim Moffitt would remain largely unchanged, although it would become District 114.
The House’s highly anticipated district map was tweeted by Destin Hall Rep. R-Caldwell on Friday afternoon. Hall, who chairs the House Redistricting Committee, called it a “president’s proposed card.”
Public hearings will begin at various locations across the state and can be viewed online starting Monday. Lawmakers are working to make the redistribution process as public as possible, as they want to complete maps of Congressional and General Assembly districts by November 5 ahead of the nominations period starting December 6.
To add to the challenge, North Carolina secures a 14th seat in the United States House of Representatives due to population growth over the past decade. According to Dr. Andy Jackson, director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity at the John Locke Foundation, cartographers face dilemmas regarding the redistribution process.
These dilemmas include Cumberland and Moore counties, which includes the Fayetteville area. He also talks about Asheville, in Buncombe County, and how the population will either be “wrapped up” or grouped into a few districts, or “cracked” that is, spread over several. districts.
âEven if you only had neutral criteria being the only thing guiding the redistribution, you’re going to have these dilemmas just because you can’t successfully accomplish everything the legislature is about to do,â Jackson said. .
The redistribution process has been transparent over the past two weeks, with lawmakers working in an open committee room for the public to attend or watch online. Cards had been drawn up with consultants behind closed doors until 2019, when a three-judge panel ruled that existing cards used as recently as 2018 were unconstitutional. The judges ordered a transparent map drawing process for the districts used in the 2020 elections.
Lawmakers have decided to keep most of the elements of that court-ordered process for this year’s redistribution.
The state has a long history of gerrymandering, with Republicans and Democrats drawing cards in their party’s favor when overseeing the General Assembly.
Joint public hearings will be held at 3 p.m. Monday in the General Assembly auditorium and at remote sites at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Caldwell Community College. There will also be a virtual hearing at 5:30 p.m. Hearings continue Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the General Assembly and East Carolina University and Central Piedmont Community College, and virtually at 5:30 p.m.