Letters to the Editor

Betsy Crites: Nonpartisan group should draw districts

Regarding the Feb. 6 news article “Federal court invalidates maps of 2 N.C. districts”: The drama around North Carolina’s gerrymandered District 1 and District 12 is moving faster than an action movie. Unfortunately, the various court decisions on these districts will not solve the basic procedural malfunction that affects the whole state, i.e., how the districts get drawn in the first place.

North Carolinians have been through gerrymanderings for decades under both Democrats and Republicans. We’ve seen the disputes resulting from these deformed districts dragged through the courts for years.

Successful alternatives have been tried in other states. Iowa turns the process over to a nonpartisan commission made up of professional legislative staff. A similar bill, H.B. 92, has been introduced in the N.C. House. It would establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission whose members would be chosen by leaders of both parties.

Support for change is growing with a bipartisan majority in the N.C. House of 63 co-sponsors. The former Democratic mayor of Raleigh, Tom Bradshaw, and the former Republican mayor of Charlotte, Richard Vinroot, have led an effort supporting reform.

The most important change to protect our votes is not voter ID, but a nonpartisan process for drawing districts.

Betsy Crites