|Bi-partisan cooperation on redistricting|
|Support building for N.C. remap overhaul|
|Published Thursday, April 18, 2013|
RALEIGH – North Carolina lawmakers are stepping out from behind party lines and working together to support a redistricting bill that supporters say would take the politics out of the process.
The Nonpartisan Redistricting Bill would create district lines based on geography and population density. Jane Pinsky, director of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, said the political games of the past have been a problem.
“You have politicians choosing whom their electorate is going to be,” she said, “drawing districts because somebody says, ‘I’ll run for office if you draw the district so that this is included, because I can win that.’”
The bill would create a nonpartisan redistricting system starting with the 2020 census results.
After the 2010 census, redistricting decisions created much confusion and debate, and forced some polling places to keep track of dozens of different ballots for voters. Seventy-three of the state Senate and House candidates in last November's election ran unopposed by a major party, and Pinsky said that's because district lines are drawn to favor incumbents.
“You get all sorts of discrepancies from the real will of the people,” she said, “and the reason people should care is that this is not something one party does. Both parties do it.”
The bill has 61 House sponsors, which gives it a majority in that chamber. If it passes the House, it will then move on to get a committee assignment in the Senate.
Similar legislation passed in Iowa in 1980, and Pinsky said it has been successful in creating nonpartisan redistricting there.
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