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Politics

North Carolina Lawmakers Could Carve Up State's Congressional Districts A Couple Of Ways

U.S. Capitol
Louis Velazquez
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Unsplash

Population numbers from the U.S. Census are due out Thursday. Those granular numbers will help North Carolina lawmakers decide how to carve up political maps for Congress and state legislative districts.

Legislators are already getting to work on the redistricting process, and the numbers will help them decide where to create an additional congressional district.

North Carolina found out that it will gain a 14th seat in the U.S. House when preliminary numbers were released in May. Now, the more detailed numbers will give lawmakers the information they need to decide where to draw that district.

There’s also another way the congressional map can be carved. Catawba College political science professor Michael Bitzer says lawmakers could also move the 13th district being vacated by Ted Budd who is running for the U.S. Senate.

“What will be interesting is where that particular district goes, and then how does the 14th Congressional District, the newest district, impact all the other districts,” Bitzer said.

Lawmakers are already meeting in Raleigh to develop criteria for drawing political maps for congressional and state legislative districts. Proposed criteria include creating districts that avoid splitting up municipalities.

North Carolina has a history of legal wrangling over redistricting maps, with litigation over maps for the 2020 election consuming much of the last decade. Bitzer said he wouldn’t be surprised if lawsuits follow the release of the next slate of maps.

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