North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday began drawing new legislative maps as the state launches a two-week sprint to create new congressional districts and state House and Senate maps based on demographic data from the 2020 census.
The state gets a 14th seat in the House of Representatives, and much of the attention statewide – and across the country – is on where that seat will be. Another question is whether the Republicans will draw a card in which they are favorites to win 10 of 14 seats or a card in which they are favorites to win 9 of 14.
For much of the past decade, Republicans controlled 10 of the 13 seats. Republicans now have 8 of 13 seats after Republicans were ordered by a panel of three state judge judges to draw new maps in 2019.
According to a map drawn Wednesday by Republican Senator Warren Daniel de Morganton, this 14th seat would be west of Charlotte. It would include seven counties, including the counties of Gaston and Cleveland and parts of Mecklenburg County.
It would take off the towns of Lake Norman and parts of western and southwestern Mecklenburg County. Mecklenburg would be divided into two other districts.
The 12th District, represented by Alma Adams, would contain most of Charlotte and remain a Democratic stronghold. Parts of southern Mecklenburg County would remain in the 9th District, currently represented by Republican Dan Bishop.
If Mecklenburg County were only divided into two congressional districts, Democrats would have the option of winning a second district.
Daniel’s map would also divide Wake County into three districts.
There will likely be several maps drawn over the next two weeks before the Republican-controlled legislature takes the final vote.
The map-making process is similar to that conducted in 2019, after the General Assembly was ordered to draw new maps ahead of the 2020 election. There are several web cameras that show lawmakers making changes. maps in real time.
When the new cards are approved, Democratic-aligned groups are expected to sue the cards.
In August, Republicans approved criteria for how the new maps would be drawn. The GOP has said it will not use racial or political data.
When drawing up the Congress map, they also stated that “the division of counties in the 2021 Congress plan will only be done for the sake of population equalization and double bunking consideration. . If a county has a population sufficient to contain an entire congressional district within the county limits, the committees will build a district entirely within that county.
It is unclear whether this standard means Mecklenburg and Wake counties should only be placed in two legislative constituencies. If that happened, it would be a boost for Democrats.
Corrected: October 7, 2021 at 9:23 a.m. EDT
This story has been updated to correct the number of Congressional ridings owned by Democrats and the number of ridings owned by Republicans. In 2021, Republicans have eight and Democrats have five.