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Redrawing the Map: Redistricting Process Begins in NC

March 28, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. - Redistricting is on the agenda for legislative districts across North Carolina now that the latest population from the 2010 U.S Census have been released, with the information and decision in the hands of the Republican-controlled State Assembly. The makeup of the legislature could change significantly and to the disadvantage of Democratic legislators.

The process is governed by federal law and court rulings, but such citizens as Arthur Griffin, a member of the Mecklenberg County Committee on Redistricting, say it's important for voters to watch the process with a close eye.

"It's really important that it's an open and transparent process and that citizens from all walks of life have an opportunity to be heard."

The release of the Census data marks the beginning of this process, one that could likely take several months to complete.

Political agendas often come into play, explains Anita Earls, executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and that's why she says voters must be involved starting now.

"People want a (district) line to be one place or another, and it's only with a fair and open process you get a plan that results in a good representative government."

The statewide redistricting plans for State Assembly and congressional seats must be submitted and approved by January of 2012.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC