North Carolina redistricting
Many North Carolinians are now living in new congressional and legislative districts that are different from the ones they voted in last election.
That’s because the General Assembly approved all-new maps last month after the state Supreme Court essentially gave lawmakers free rein to draw electoral maps in ways that benefit them politically.
Legal challenges to the new maps have begun, but for now the maps remain intact.
So, what districts do you live in now, and who will you be able to vote for?
The General Assembly has interactive maps on its website at www.ncleg.gov/Redistricting that allow voters to type in their address and find their voting districts for:
Finding the district is easy, but it’s still a bit early to know exactly who you can vote for.
Official candidate filing doesn’t begin until Dec. 4, so voters can’t find all the candidates in their districts just yet. Candidate filing ends on Dec. 15, after which time the State Board of Elections will eventually post the official list of candidates on its website at www.ncsbe.gov/results-data/candidate-lists.
You can find who currently represents you in Congress and the legislature by typing in your address on a web page from the General Assembly, www.ncleg.gov/findyourlegislators.
Take a look at the new maps here:
NC House of Representatives
Why do we have new maps?
Redistricting has been a contentious process in North Carolina for quite some time.
Although this is meant to be a relatively infrequent occurrence, North Carolina has had new legislative maps every year but one since 2017, usually due to court cases regarding partisan gerrymandering.
The congressional maps used in the 2022 elections were drawn by a group of court-appointed “special masters” after the state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature had unconstitutionally gerrymandered the original maps they drew.
The map drawn by the special masters resulted in seven Democrats and seven Republicans winning a seat in Congress.
However, after Republicans won a majority on the state Supreme Court in 2022, they reversed the earlier decision and ruled that the court does not have the jurisdiction to consider claims of partisan gerrymandering.
This ruling allowed Republicans to redraw the congressional and legislative maps this year.
Party leaders were open about drawing maps that intentionally benefited the GOP, noting that courts would not rule on partisan gerrymandering.
However, maps can still be struck down if a court finds that they were racially gerrymandered.
Democratic lawmakers, legal experts and activists have accused Republicans of diluting the voting power of Black residents.
A court ruling could disrupt the candidate filing period, as happened in 2021. Challengers to the maps will want to delay candidate filing so any potential new court-ordered maps could be used in 2024, instead of waiting until the next election.