Make redistricting independent

Mar. 06, 2013 @ 04:40 AM

It’s a battle that almost every state faces every 10 years.
The battle of one political party flexing its muscles over another by drawing district boundaries.
North Carolina has proved to be no different.
Last week, testimony before a Superior Court panel may have highlighted the need to move the redistricting process out of the hands of the political parties and into those of a nonpartisan, independent commission.
The issue raised last week came from Democrats and various voter-advocacy groups stating that Republican lawmakers short-sold black-voter influence and produced unfair districts in 2011.
Because this is an age-old argument it makes it all the more devastating.
As aptly pointed out by the Winston-Salem Journal, for more than a century, the Democrat Party held a very strong grip on state politics by moving and shaking state and federal districts in North Carolina.
So, it should have been no surprise that, in 2010, when Republicans took control of the North Carolina House and Senate they used the redistricting process in an attempt to ensure the same thing for themselves.
Over the course of the years, the one demographic that has paid the price for this form of political gamesmanship has been the North Carolina voter.
We have been saddled with a virtual non-competitive political system that sets aside the political makeup of the state and serves only to maintain the dominant party’s control of government.
Make no mistake, North Carolina is not the only state in the nation that has gone through this process. States across the country have had the same battles over redistricting for years.
We agree with the Journal in its assessment that the time is now for the state to adopt an independent redistricting commission that follows the guidelines set forth for the drawing of districts representative of communities and holding to equality in voting rights for all North Carolinians.
This commission should be made privy to all key information to allow them the ability to create fair and consistent state and federal districts.
There is no question in our mind that this is certainly not a partisan topic of conversation and should not be a partisan rule of the land.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.