The new fall season in North Carolina is not only ushering in a change in the weather but a possible change in redistricting for the state as well.
There are three House and Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee hearings scheduled across the state for the week of Sept. 25, where the public will get a chance to have their voices heard in the redistricting process.
The first will occur on Sept. 25 at 4 pm at the College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City Campus. The second, Sept. 26 at 4 pm at Appalachian State University, Hickory Campus, and the third, Sept. 27 at 4 pm at the Legislative Office Building, Raleigh. Those wishing to speak can sign up online or at the designated location. Online sign-ups close at noon on the designated day. Speakers will have 2 minutes to speak.
The candidate filing period for the statewide 2024 primary elections begins at noon on Dec. 4 and ends at noon on Dec. 15.
The maps are being redrawn due to a decision on Dec. 16 from the North Carolina Supreme Court in Harper v. Hall. Once again, by a party-line vote, Democratic justices affirmed their original findings and even threw out the Senate districts used in the 2022 general election, ordering the legislature to try again in 2023.
In February 2022, a bipartisan unanimous three-judge panel upheld newly drawn maps for North Carolina’s legislative elections. But the same panel rejected a revised map for congressional elections.
In place of a remedial congressional map drawn by the Republican-led General Assembly, the judges substituted their own map for the 2022 congressional elections. A panel of three “special masters” drew that map for the judges.
Earlier that month, lawmakers were forced to redraw their initial set of NC House, NC Senate, and congressional maps because of an order from the state Supreme Court. In a 4-3 party-line ruling, the high court’s four Democrats agreed that the original maps, written in late 2021, represented unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
Republicans still won a supermajority in the state Senate and came within a seat of winning one in the state House, though Democrats fared better in the congressional races.