From Team Cooper <[email protected]>
Subject A redistricting explainer
Date May 16, 2022 3:37 PM
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John — we’ve talked a lot before about the redistricting process in North Carolina, but today we want to get a little in the weeds about what’s going on and how it impacts our communities.

Here’s the bottom line: By abusing the redistricting process for their own political gain, right-wing GOP lawmakers are undermining the fundamental promise that government is BY AND FOR the people.

Democrats across North Carolina are fighting back — and Roy Cooper is leading the way. If you’re with us, consider a donation of any size today >>> [[link removed]]

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In North Carolina, the legislature is tasked with drawing new maps for state legislative districts and congressional districts. Since Republicans control both houses of the legislature, they take the lead on redistricting. Under North Carolina’s constitution, the Governor is prevented from using a veto on redistricting maps. We know how successful the Governor has been stopping so many bad laws with his veto, but on this issue he can’t.

Think about that for a minute: Lawmakers are responsible for drawing maps that affect their own re-election prospects — legislators are choosing their voters, not the other way around. (This is why Roy is a strong advocate for creating a Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission for our state!)

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We know that our democracy depends not only on who gets to vote, but also on how fairly they are represented.

To make sure that all of us have an equal voice in our government, there are a few rules maps have to follow.

Legislative districts must:

-Be contiguous and compact
-Cross county lines as little as possible and group together the fewest counties possible
-Account for communities of interest

Communities of interest are groups that may have similar political interests and would benefit from having representation. Essentially, district maps shouldn’t dilute the political power of groups with aligned interests.

Districts also have to comply with the Voting Rights Act, which mandates that voting procedures including redistricting must not discriminate or have a discriminatory effect on groups based on race, color, or language.

During the redistricting process, Republicans have repeatedly ignored these rules, designed to protect voters of color from the kind of discrimination we saw in the Jim Crow era. The GOP’s new maps prevent communities of color from having the political power they deserve.

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Racial and partisan gerrymandering has one objective: to ensure that Republicans maintain power no matter what the voters actually want. They will do everything they possibly can to ensure that Democrats don’t have a fair chance at making our voices heard.

Despite the fact that North Carolina’s 2020 presidential election was split nearly 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans (Donald Trump earned fewer than 100,000 more votes than President Biden) Republicans initially produced congressional and legislative maps that would grant them a completely outsized share of power.

Their congressional maps would’ve given Republicans 10 House districts — or 71% of our congressional representation — leaving just 4 districts for Democrats.

With their state legislative maps, Republicans are trying to guarantee themselves a supermajority in Raleigh that will allow them to pass their radical agenda and prevent Democrats from standing in their way.

Experts agree that the GOP maps constitute an extreme partisan gerrymander — the Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave all three maps an “F” for partisan fairness.

And they drew these maps without substantive community input.

Thankfully, the state Supreme Court blocked the GOP’s congressional map from taking effect.

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John: Republicans’ new legislative maps are going to make it harder than ever for our communities to elect leaders who share our values and our vision for North Carolina’s future. They’re specifically designed to prevent Democrats from gaining power in Raleigh.

But we have the people on our side, and if we work together, we can overcome the GOP’s partisan political tactics.

Roy is doing everything possible to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November. Today, we’re asking you to power that work with a contribution of any size >>> [[link removed]]

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Thank you so much for reading all this way! We appreciate your commitment to fighting for our democracy.

Team Cooper

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Cooper for North Carolina
PO Box 1190
Raleigh, NC 27602
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United States
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