The Buncombe County Board of Education doesn’t particularly like any of its options for new voting maps, as required by a law the N.C. General Assembly passed last fall. As a result, several attendance zones might see up to 30% of its population reassigned to other districts.
The state will operate on its third set of maps in four years for the U.S. House, N.C. Senate and N.C. House districts after the N.C. General Assembly passed redrawn lines Oct. 25.
Representatives from the Asheville-based Campaign for Southern Equality asked board members to slow down approval of policies related to Senate Bill 49 during public comment. They believe the bill contradicts Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of gender.
“I define fair maps as those that provide opportunities for all who wish to run for office a realistic chance for election and for voters to have real chances to elect someone who shares their values.”
The NC-11 race is heating up as Republican State Sen. Chuck Edwards and Democratic challenger Jasmine Beach-Ferrara head into the fall election.
The planned retirements of Reps. John Ager, Susan Fisher and Brian Turner — all three multi-term Democratic members of the N.C. House from Buncombe County — mean the county’s state-level representation is set for a big shift in the upcoming election.
The Jan. 4 agenda for the county Board of Commissioners lists “a discussion of Board of Commissioner districts and structure,” accompanied by a letter of engagement with Raleigh-based law firm Poyner Spruill dated Dec. 1.
Billed as a wrap-up of a busy year for WNC’s state legislative delegation, much of the Dec. 10 gathering hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce wound up being devoted to the future of the General Assembly — a future that, following a Dec. 8 order by the North Carolina Supreme Court, faces many unknowns.
The N.C. General Assembly must take census results into account as members create new voting district boundaries that reflect the state’s population growth and follow strict legal criteria. Western North Carolina’s state Senate and U.S. House districts are both likely to see changes for the 2022 election cycle.
As currently drawn, the proposed districts would shift representation for large areas of Buncombe County. A 2011 state law also required that districts for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners match those of the county’s House representatives. As currently drawn, the maps would move Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara from District 1 to District 2, shift Al Whitesides from District 1 to District 3 and reassign Amanda Edwards from District 2 to District 1.
“Let your state senator and representative, plus Tim Moore, speaker of the House, and Phil Berger, president pro tem of the Senate, know you support fair redistricts (vote411.org provides contact info).”
“If we desire democratic rights for ourselves and our children, this is the very moment that we must shed our tendency of quiet civility and shout, collectively, loud enough that the court in Washington is aware that American citizens will accept nothing short of the legacy the Continental Congress intended for us after blood was shed for this nation’s freedom.”
On Nov. 4, the League of Women Voters hosted a 5K in West Asheville to show what meandering redistricting looks like on the ground. Participants, many clad in pussy hats, colorful tutus and rainbow socks, ran and walked along a route that traced the line between the 10th and 11th districts.
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer held a press conference Thursday, May 11, to highlight House Bill 200, which seeks to end gerrymandering on a statewide level. Asheville residents affiliated with Common Cause NC, a nonprofit organization based out of Raleigh, also spoke against gerrymandering within congressional districts and the need to support the proposed legislation.
Veteran national journalist and commentator Bill Moyers examines state politics in a new documentary, “North Carolina: Battleground State.”
With state legislators opting not to vote on redistricting reform this year, local bipartisan supporters rallied in downtown Asheville Aug. 1 to start campaigning on behalf of passing the measure in 2014.
Ahead of the last election, Buncombe County was split between two congressional districts, and lines were redrawn in ways that helped Republicans get elected to the N.C. Statehouse and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Now, a new study shows how gerrymandering distorts elections in North Carolina, while a new poll finds overwhelming public support for changing the redistricting process.
North Carolina politics remains in the national spotlight: New York Times guest columnist Sam Wang analyzes “The Great Gerrymander of 2012” — and includes a look at the power of GOP redistricting in the state.
Uncounted votes from Warren Wilson College residents could determine which political party has a majority of members on the new Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.