Raleigh, North Carolina – Redistribution reform group is hosting a contest: draw your own map of Congress of North Carolina, win maybe $ 500.
The Citizen Redistricting North Carolina contest begins Wednesday night and will accept cards until 5 p.m. on October 30.
Cards are to be drawn through a well-known website called Dave’s Redistricting.
“The goal is for individuals to become more aware of the map-drawing process and features that are often taken into consideration,” said Anna Martina, one of the organizers, in an email. “We also want individuals to feel more empowered to play as active a role as possible in the process of redistributing our state. “
The group plans to kick things off with a Zoom roundtable at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, featuring a trio of North Carolina State University professors and a few reform advocates: Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford and the former representative Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson.
The meeting is open to everyone.
“We hope to raise awareness of the redistribution process in North Carolina and empower the people of North Carolina to take an active role,” Martina said.
The redistribution is now underway, with lawmakers drawing cards to the General Assembly in a process that is posted online during regular business hours. Lawmakers are drawing the cards themselves as opposed to an independent commission, a reform many advocates have been calling for for years.
McGrady was one of the few members of the Republican legislative majority to push for independent redistribution reform in recent years. His bills never made it to the finish line, but McGrady said Tuesday: “I think we’ve come a lot closer than anyone thought.”
He said he had commitments from House leaders in early 2020 to pass a reform bill and had also spoken to Senate Speaker Pro Tem Phil Berger.
“He said he didn’t agree at this point that something needed to be done, but he thought it was an issue that needed to be discussed,” McGrady said.
Whatever the odds, the pandemic has taken the wind out of that veil.
“I felt really optimistic, then COVID hit,” he said.