Letters to the Editor

Eric Von Salzen: New gerry vs. old gerry

Your Nov. 13 editorial “ Mapping victory” complained that North Carolina Republicans won too many congressional seats in the Nov. 4 election – 10 of 13 – because they “overdid” the redistricting after the 2010 census.

You argue that the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate only barely beat the incumbent Democrat, and that there are more registered Democrats in North Carolina than registered Republicans, so if the districts were fair, the Republicans should have won only slightly more than half the congressional races.

But you ignore the one relevant statistic: How many votes were cast for Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress? Republicans won 56 percent of the votes for congressional candidates versus 44 percent for Democrats, a landslide victory for the Republicans by any measure.

Four years ago, the votes for congressional candidates were very similar: 54 percent Republican versus 46 percent for Democrats. But at that time, the Democrats’ map, which you praise, was in effect. Under that map, the Republicans, with a clear majority of the vote, won only a minority – 6 out of 13 – of seats. You call that a fair result?

Eric Von Salzen