And once again the circus comes to town:
The North Carolina Senate used a state lottery machine Tuesday to pick base maps to work off of for its court-ordered redistricting. The unprecedented scene came after legislative staffers winnowed down a pack of 1,000 potential maps, drawn by a computer algorithm, to a handful of top contenders based on specific criteria.
Legislative staff spent much the day pulling the five maps that scored the best on a combination of compactness, fewest precincts split and fewest municipal boundaries split for each of seven clusters of counties that must be re-drawn, including one that includes the Senate district in Wake and Franklin counties.
Before they go any further with this dubious approach, somebody needs to confer with the judges about not only this Lottery thing, but also the use of the 1,000 generated maps they're using as a base "pool" or whatever. They might also want to mention to said judges House Republicans are going behind closed doors to scheme:
Lewis said his side's attorneys were reviewing the data behind Chen's maps, which Common Cause's legal team had provided, but he had no reason to doubt that data, which the Senate had already moved forward on.
"We've now taken a whole day where they're just behind closed doors," said Stanton Jones, lead attorney for Common Cause in the underlying court case. "Why?"
The judges in this case ordered unusual transparency, saying maps must be drawn in open meetings. They also said explicitly that legislators can't use past election results to design the new maps, but that information on Chen's maps was sent, by Republican attorneys in the case, to legislators on Monday, the first day of this redraw.
Jones and others quickly cried foul, and Lewis said no one completed the large data download before people realized what had been sent, and that it shouldn't be seen. Democrats largely held their peace on this issue Tuesday, but it remains a potential issue looming over this closely watched process.
Bolding mine, because your attorneys have already lost their case. It's time for elected officials to work together, in the public's view, to straighten out this mess.