Senator sheds light on controversy surrounding man who helped draw Congressional map of North Carolina


By Mitch Kokai
Caroline Diary

Senator Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell. File photo by Maya Reagan, Carolina Journal

A top North Carolina Senate redistricting official is raising new concerns about one of the men who helped draw the latest congressional map of the state. These concerns are based on new revelations from New Jersey.

The New Jersey Globe reports that Sam Wang, head of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, is under investigation in the Garden State. Staff allege that Wang “manipulated the data to suit his personal agenda.” He is also accused of having “mistreated people who worked for him”.

A press release from Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, highlights New Jersey’s “explosive report.” Hise helped lead North Carolina‘s election mapping process in 2021 and 2022. Wang worked as an assistant to court-appointed special masters who reviewed legislative and congressional election maps drawn by Hise and his colleagues.

With Wang’s help, these special masters rejected the Legislators’ Congress card and replaced their own card for this year’s election.

“Since the beginning of the remedial redistricting process, Dr. Wang’s involvement has been problematic, but no one has taken our concerns seriously,” Hise said. “Allegations that he skewed the data in favor of the Democrats during the New Jersey redistricting process should absolutely call into question his involvement in North Carolina. After all, the court accepted a map drawn by the Special Masters team.

The New Jersey Globe cited a source who accused Wang of manipulating data while working on that state’s redistricting plans. “He would tamper with the numbers to get his way,” according to the Globe report cited in Hise’s statement. “He had a program. He was good at hiding it when necessary, but it was clear that Sam wanted the Democrats to win, and he was willing to cheat to make that happen.

Wang was hired to help special masters in North Carolina in February, Hise reports. “Before his hiring was announced to the parties to the lawsuit, Wang contacted the plaintiffs’ experts to request data and information because he had been ‘approached to assess recovery plans for North Carolina,’ even though the “Court order prohibited the experts from engaging with the Special Masters team,” according to Hise’s statement.

As the Carolina Journal reported on February 21, legislative leaders demanded that Wang be removed from the special masters team. The judges rejected the request. “When the repair process ended, the court accepted a Congressional map drawn by the Special Masters team – including Wang – which had only one competitive district, compared to the map of the legislature, which included four highly competitive districts,” Hise’s statement said.

Hise is referring to an analysis suggesting the court-imposed map of Congress has seven districts favoring Republicans, six favoring Democrats and one judged to be a true draw district. A similar analysis had suggested that the last Congressional map of the Legislature would have produced six Republican-friendly districts, four Democratic-friendly and four of the nation’s most competitive districts.

Early voting began April 28 in the North Carolina election, including congressional races based on the court-drawn map. The General Assembly is free to draw a new map of Congress for the 2024 election cycle.


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