Raleigh – Today, frustrated citizens from across North Carolina are lining up to weigh in on newly released legislative maps. The unconstitutionally-elected Republican caucus has made clear, however, they’re not even listening.
Just look at the circumstances around today’s hearing to see Republicans’ true motivations:
- Republicans made the brazen move to hold statewide public hearings all at the exact same time, all during regular working hours.
- They gave only a week’s notice, and timed them so most working-class voters would have to take time off from work to attend.
- Only after public criticism did they add a public hearing in the eastern part of the state.
- The hearing in Greensboro – the third largest city in NC – can only hold 25-30 people.
Taken together, these points beg the question: Are these public hearings nothing more than a sham to satisfy the court, not a sincerely attempt to hear NC voters’ concerns?
Already, the public has been vocal that they want nonpartisan maps. Voters have voiced a consistent message for the GOP: “We are done with your pettiness.” Republicans shrugged it off, responding that despite public comments these maps will be “inherently political.”
If Republican leaders sincerely want the public’s input, and want to earnestly make sure that every NC voter is represented, they would hold these hearings after working hours or on the weekend. They would space them out, and they would listen when the public says: Take the politics out of drawing maps.
“North Carolina voters have made clear they want nonpartisan redistricting, and they deserve to sincerely have their voices heard in this process,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “While we hope Republicans listen to the people and take the politics out of these maps, from what we’ve seen so far, we won’t hold our breath.”