Republicans Hold Last Public Hearings For N.C. Redistricting
Republicans are holding the last public hearings today on their plan to redraw North Carolina voting districts. Republicans released their first installment of the new legislative maps last month. At the time, the process was about twenty percent complete. That drew many complaints from voters like Joyce Lutu, who attended earlier public hearings. "We feel that asking people to comment on small portions of these maps rather than the big picture is not a fair strategy," Lutu said. Now that Republicans have released the big picture, today is the last chance for voters like Lutu to give their opinion. In the Charlotte area, the public hearing will be from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Central Piedmont Community College. The meeting will include a few other counties by videoconference. There are 170 house and senate districts. Many in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties have changed quite a bit with population growth and Republicans in charge of the process. Mecklenburg County Senator Bob Rucho said lawmakers are listening to public concerns. For example, he said they're tweaking the Congressional map. Critics accuse Republicans of packing African Americans into some districts. In theory that gives Republicans a stronger hold on power in surrounding districts. That's because African Americans tend to vote for Democrats. Redistricting leaders plan to release the updated Congressional map tomorrow.They want a final vote on the congressional and legislative maps by July 28.