In response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State address, Sen. Phil Berger said, “Across the state, Republican legislators received hundreds of thousands more votes than their Democratic opponents.” Let’s look at the data.
Gerrymandering was so severe in House districts that in 50 percent of the races only one candidate ran. So half of the voters had no choice in who represent them. In districts where two candidates ran, the vote was 1,036,190 for Democrats and 1,330,871 for Republicans. So Berger was right for these districts, Republicans won “hundreds of thousands more votes.” They won 56 percent of the vote – but due to gerrymandering they won 75 percent of these districts.
Gerrymandering of Senate districts resulted in 36 percent of the races having only one candidate. In districts with two candidates, the vote was 1,427,005 Democrat; 1,492,849 Republican – a difference of 65,844, not “hundreds of thousands.” In these districts the Republicans won 51 percent of the vote – but again, due to gerrymandering they won 72 percent of the districts.
Until a nonpartisan redistricting process is established by the General Assembly, it will not represent the will of the voters. House Bill 200 establishes this goal.
Larry D. King
Board member, Common Cause NC