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As congressional maps are redrawn, a look at how they could reshape North Carolina's political landscape

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Princeton Gerrymandering Project
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A proposed congressional map drawn by GOP Sen. Ralph Hise would give Republicans the advantage in 11 of 14 seats.

After the U.S. census each decade, boundaries throughout the country are redrawn for congressional and state legislative districts.

While the maps are theoretically supposed to account for population shifts, since partisan state legislatures control redistricting in most states, determining the boundaries has often become an opportunity for parties to gerrymander seats and consolidate power.

North Carolina, like many states, has a long history of drawing voter maps for political advantage.

At least as far back as the 1860s, many Black voters were intentionally grouped into one congressional district to reduce their political power everywhere else in the state. As recently as 2018, federal judges discarded Republican maps for partisan gerrymandering. The stakes are particularly high this year as North Carolina is receiving an additional member in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We sit down with top political scientist Michael Bitzer to discuss his new book as we look toward North Carolina’s political future.

Guest

Michael Bitzer, chair of political science and professor of politics and history at Catawba College, author of “Redistricting and Gerrymandering in North Carolina: Battlelines in the Tar Heel State

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.