As congressional maps are challenged, a look toward the future of NC's political landscape
Editor's note: this program originally aired Nov. 3, 2021.
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. In 2018, federal judges discarded Republican maps for partisan gerrymandering.
And on Dec. 8, 2021 the North Carolina Supreme Court ordered the state's 2022 primary to be pushed back two months to settle two lawsuits challenging the Republican-drawn maps.
We revisit our conversation with top political scientist Michael Bitzer to discuss his new book as we look toward North Carolina’s political future.
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”