General Assembly considering nonpartisan redistricting starting in 2020

cross-posted (in slightly edited form) at dKos

Per an editorial from Sunday's Charlotte Observer, there's reason for hope the Repubs won't gerrymander the hell out of the state after all. A proposal currently working its way through the legislature would eliminate most (if not all) of the partisan tinder from redistricting starting with the 2020s round. The bill would put the redistricting processin the hands of the legislative staff.

The House last week passed a proposal that would have legislative staff members, not elected legislators, draw the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts. It would take effect in 2021, the next time district lines are scheduled to be redrawn.

The legislation is modeled after the system in Iowa. Legislative staffers, sequestered from elected officials, draw maps and present them for an up-or-down vote by the House and Senate.

The proposal is viewable here. It would specifically ban redistricting to favor a party or incumbent. The bill passed pretty handily in the state house, and is currently in committee in the state senate.

To the Observer, it's better late than never.

This is a step toward independence in line-drawing, something this editorial board has pushed for many years, including when Democrats controlled the legislature. It won't remove the politics from the process. But it should end the naked partisanship that has plagued redistricting so often in the past.


Granted, the Repubs were caught red-handed discussing plans to bury a redistricting plan in the state budget bill--and only took it out when they left the mics on for what was supposed to be a closed meeting (the same one where the state house majority leader called Perdue "incompetent"). But the fact they're considering this should be reason to hope that any map the Repubs pass won't be too obscene. After all, it won't make a whole lot of sense to gerrymander the state knowing full well it'll be ripped apart again in 2021.


Yeah, we need to do this

And I don't want to stop the process, but... it's not going to help this year, and I have a hunch the R's are pretty sure they won't be in the majority in 2020. So before we give them a serious pat on the back, we should wait and see how they shuffle.