Fair Elections and Redistricting Reform
Fair Elections Action Team Meetings
The Fair Elections Action Team (FEAT) monthly team meetings are scheduled on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 4 pm at
Chapel Hill Public Library
100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 17514
In meeting room D
Our meeting dates will be Tuesdays:
- February 13
- March 13
- April 10
- May 8.
At each meeting we will have an update on what is happening in the legislature and courts, reporting on our assignments, and organizing for further action.
The League of Women Voters believes that congressional districts and government legislative bodies should be apportioned substantially on population. The League is convinced that this standard, established by the Supreme Court, should be maintained and that the U.S. Constitution should not be amended to allow for consideration of factors other than population in apportionment.
The League of Women Voters believes responsibility for redistricting preferably should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government, including citizens at large, representatives of public interest groups, and members of minority groups.
AUG. REPORT OF THE FAIR ELECTIONS/REDISTRICTING ACTION TEAM
The ODC Fair Elections Team will focus its efforts for the fall and winter of 2017-18 on two projects, Follow-the-Money Research Project and a Speakers Bureau Project. In addition we will sponsor a League-wide meeting on September 10 (see information above).
The Follow-the-Money Research Project is being directed by Jennifer Bremer as the leader of the LWV-NC Fair Elections Action Team. The tasks are to identify contributors and supporters of Republican legislators; invite these contributors and supporters to become part of a coalition to talk with legislators about reform; and work with the coalition to produce reform.
Speakers Bureau Project. The State League has produced a Power Point that is available to all local Leagues to serve a basis for a presentation. This project will research diverse groups to speak to and will make presentations to these groups. Suzana Dancy and Becky Winders will lead this group.
Members of the Fair Elections Action Team participated in several activities over the past month.
- Four ODC members of the GA Lobbying Team attended the end-of-year review of the team's work on redistricting.
- Jennifer Bremer gave an informal talk on the status of redistricting reform at the monthly Orange County happy hour
- Mary Russel Roberson reported on her legislative activity to the Durham Unit.
- Several ODC members participated in the two meetings/hearings held by the NCGA's joint House and Senate redistricting committees in preparation for the upcoming Covington partial redistricting.
June 5, 2017 US Supreme Court Action
On June 5, 2017, The United States Supreme Court informed the state of North Carolina that it would not review a lower court ruling saying that 28 legislative districts were racially gerrymandered. This decision by the country's highest court means that the NC General Assembly will have to redraw those districts.
On May 22, 2017, the US Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the NC General Assembly had in 2011 racially gerrymandered two Congressional districts.
Statement from the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform
"These two lawsuits are among more than forty instances where a court has had to intervene in NC redistricting since 1980. North Carolina needs to change the way it does redistricting. We need a nonpartisan process that allows citizens to decide who represents them, not one that permits legislators to choose who their voters will be."
It is time for the NC General Assembly to act after decades of doing nothing. House Bill 200, and its companion bill Senate Bill 209, would establish a fair and nonpartisan system that eliminates party politics and political deal making. This legislation puts voters back into game and ends the decades of expensive litigation.
- April 3, 7:00 pm in Raleigh - Training by Wake LWV on how to talk with legislators about redistricting reform. Contact Bev Kawalec (email@example.com) if you are interested in attending.
- April 5, 2017, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, "Common Ground and Redistricting Reform" organized by LWVNC. University Club , 3100 Tower Blvd, #1700, Durham, NC 27707. The event is free but registration will be required due to limited seating. Click here to register.
LWVNC will be hosting this event focused on the need for nonpartisan redistricting reform. Featured speaker will be J. Walker Smith of Kantar Futures, who will talk about the path toward finding common ground (from a marketing perspective). Republican and Democrat co-sponsors of HB200/S209 (Non Partisan Redistricting) will be invited to educate attendees about this bill.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. The program will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 30, 2017, 1:30 to 3:30, LWV-ODC Redistricting Reform: Fair Maps/Fair Elections Action Team Meeting. Community Church: Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (in the Community Room).
We invite all League members who are interested in Redistricting Reform to attend to review the background of this issue and plan the League's future actions.
LWV Redistricting Reform Actions & Resources
- LWVODC has created a new Action Team: "Redistricting Reform: Fair Maps/Fair Elections." Program Leaders are Bev Kawalec, Jean LeCluyse, and Markie Davis. To learn more about this new Action Team, contact Bev Kawalec (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The Board of Directors of LWVNC has agreed to support HB200 & SB209, a pair of identical companion bills that would mandate nonpartisan redistricting in North Carolina, effective 2021. LWVNC's Fair Elections Action Team will provide leadership in education and advocacy about this bill. Read more.
If HB200 & SB209 are not signed into law during in this legislative session, the LWVNC Fair Elections League Action Team will explore and evaluate possible alternatives to those two companion bills that might, perhaps, more adequately serve our diverse populations.
- LWVUS ADOPTS NEW POSITION ON REDISTRICTING There is a new version of the LWVUS position on redistricting, adopted at Convention 2016 and available online here.
- Fair Elections LWVNC webpage has a listing of reading materials and videos regarding redistricting.
- LWV Redistricting ACTION Kit is online! A template letter to the editor and candidate/elected official questions are part of the package!
NC Redistricting and Special 2017 Election
- On November 29, 2016, Federal Judges ordered new NC legislative maps, special election: RALEIGH, N.C. - -(AP) -- Federal judges ordered the North Carolina legislature to redraw its own districts by March 15, 2017 to replace ones the judges previously struck down and to hold a special election using the new maps in November 2017. The ruling also means those elected to the state House and Senate in November 2016, in districts where boundaries now will be altered, would serve just one year, not two as expected. Read More
Subsequently, the North Carolina Republican legislators appealed this order of the federal judges to the US Supreme Court. See update on US Supreme Court action above.
- On January 10, 2017, the US Supreme Court blocked the November 2016 order of the federal judges. This ruling puts everything on hold while the Supreme Court considers the appeal (of whether the district court was correct to order special elections for 2017).
Previous League Redistricting Reform Events and Summaries
- March 2 - 3, 2017
Duke Conference on "Redistricting Reform: Mapping our Future." Summary of the meeting by League member Markie Davis.
- February 2, 2017
Walter Salinger, a retired professor of psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, currently serves on the Boards of Directors of both the League of Women Voters of Piedmont Triad and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. On the evening of February 2nd, he gave a talk at the Chapel Hill Public Library to explain the consequences of gerrymandering voting districts and advocate for a nonpartisan redistricting plan. Read article from the Daily Tarheel on the meeting.