State Politics

Fact check: A gerrymander is ‘a strange looking monster drawing,’ GOP leader says

A tweet from Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham
A tweet from Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham

According to the leader of the North Carolina GOP, detecting gerrymandering should be as easy as checking under your bed at night.

If you see something that looks like a monster, you’re in trouble.

Robin Hayes, chairman of the NC Republican Party, is among many Republicans upset that a panel of federal judges on Tuesday struck down North Carolina’s election districts for U.S. Congress as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.

State Sen. Ralph Hise, a Mitchell County Republican who helped lead redistricting efforts, said legislative leaders plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask for a stay.

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the NC GOP, said the Supreme Court should take note of what he described as “outrageous” actions by an “activist judge.”

Hayes on Wednesday then echoed Woodhouse by accusing the judges of “attempting to throw North Carolina’s elections into chaos.” And he defended the maps in a statement that suggests the judges are adopting “radical, untested new theories” about the definition of gerrymandering.

“A ‘gerrymander’ is by definition and common understanding, a strange looking ‘monster’ drawing. This map is clearly not that,” Hayes said. He noted that the maps kept 87 of North Carolina’s 100 counties whole and divided only 12 precincts.

At least one reporter saw the face of a monster in the districts.

Experts say the shape of districts can, indeed, be an indicator of gerrymandering. But is it the determining factor? To see how PolitiFact rated Hayes’ statement, go to PolitiFact.com.

Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht

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