North Carolina Supreme Court overturns congressional maps
PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - In a 4-3 vote, the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down new redistricting maps for our state this past Friday.
Voting rights groups had challenged the Republican-favored maps that passed in November, saying they were racially gerrymandered.
The decision from North Carolina’s highest court to strike down the maps did not surprise Pitt County Director of Elections Dave Davis.
“We’ve seen it happen in the past. This is the usual course as it’s going through the courts,” Davis said.
With the state primary election set to happen on May 17th, Davis expects a new map to be drawn up sooner rather than later to avoid delaying the election again.
“Odds are they’re not going to redraw from the beginning every map. They’ll probably do tweaks here and there,” Davis said.
The first stop of the redrawing process will be at the North Carolina General Assembly. The justices ruled that the legislature will have a second chance to redraw them.
North Carolina Central University law professor Irving Joyner says, in the event that the General Assembly can’t draw a new map or will not draw a new map to meet the satisfaction of the trial judge, then a special master can be brought in. Joyner believes that likely won’t happen though.
“We are expecting the General Assembly to avail themselves the opportunity to avail themselves of a new map,” Joyner said.
In addition to the legislature, all parties involved in the redistricting lawsuit can also submit their own proposed replacement maps. The maps must be filed by Feb. 18th and the court has until Feb. 23rd to make a decision.
A date for the General Assembly to meet and redraw the maps has not been announced.
Candidate filing will resume on Feb. 24 and last until March 4th. The state primary election is set to happen on May 17th.
Republican lawmakers recently passed a bill to push it back three weeks to June 7th to give more time for the redraw. However, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed that bill.
Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.