Ocracoke gets redistricted by General Assembly

By on November 21, 2021

By Peter Vankevich | Ocracoke Observer

The new federal voting districts in North Carolina.

With the newly redrawn voting maps, Hyde County will be in three new voting districts next year unless a court orders them to be redrawn.

Throughout the country, every state is redrawing political maps based on new data from the 2020 census. North Carolina ratified new districts on Nov. 4. The new districts for Hyde County, which includes Ocracoke, are two for the state legislature and one for the federal congressional seat.

These new districts will be effective Jan. 1 unless lawsuits filed by Common Cause North Carolina, the NAACP and some other private citizens to put a halt to their implementation are successful. Two other lawsuits, challenging the maps on racial and partisan gerrymandering, also have been filed.

The ramifications of redistricting cannot be overestimated. It affects who gets to represent constituents and which political parties control state legislatures. Unless courts halt the process, they will stay in effect until the next census in 2030.

While these changes apply to all of Hyde County, Ocracoke, currently in state House District 6, next year will move into House District 79. The newly drawn district groups Hyde County with mostly noncoastal counties of Beaufort and Pamlico and a portion of Dare County up to the Harris Teeter grocery store in Kill Devil Hills. The current representative in this new district is Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort County), who lives in Chocowinity at the western end of the district. Next year. House District 6 will consist of most of Craven County.

As for its state senate district, Ocracoke will move from District 1 to District 2 — separated completely from the northeastern coastal counties of Dare and Currituck and will be grouped with Carteret, Chowan, Halifax, Martin, Pamlico, Warren and Washington counties.

Federal Congressional lines are also redrawn because North Carolina will gain one additional seat, sending 14 representatives to Washington, D.C. Ocracoke will move out of District 3 to be part of the new District 1, consisting of 17 counties: Dare, Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Gates, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt and Tyrell. A portion of Onslow County will be divided between the new District 1 and District 3.

Current District 3 Representative Greg Murphy (R-Greenville) will move to District 1 where he would run for reelection, should he choose to do so.

Ocracoke can expect a change in who represents it in the North Carolina General Assembly. The island’s s current House Representative, Bobby Hanig (R-Powells Point), had his county, Currituck, reassigned to House District 1, making him ineligible to represent Ocracoke.

Hanig, however, after the redistricting was completed, promptly announced that he would run for the State Senate in his home District 1, which does not include Ocracoke.

Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan), who represents Ocracoke in Senate District 1, had his resident county shifted to District 2 and can run for reelection. If Steinberg runs, he will likely receive a Republican primary challenge from current District 2 Senator Norman Sanderson (R- Chocowinity) from Beaufort County. Sanderson has represented District 2 since 2012.

Other candidates will, in due course, announce their intentions to run for these three seats.

Dare County, much to the consternation of many, including Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard and Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul, was split into two districts with its northern areas, the towns of Duck, Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk and a small part of Kill Devil Hills, placed in NC House District 1 joining all of Chowan, Currituck, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties. The southern towns Nags Head, Manteo, Stumpy Point, Wanchese, Colington and all of Hatteras Island are part of District 79.

It was reported that Sproul said that splitting Kill Devil Hills into two districts will create confusion among his town’s voters when it comes to knowing what races they are allowed to vote in.

The lawsuit by Common Cause and the NCCAP in part argue that intentional refusal by the Redistricting Chairs to consider racial data or to conduct any racially polarized voting analysis will dilute the voting power of Black North Carolinians and violates the Voting Rights Act.

A second lawsuit by private citizens argues that partisan gerrymandering, “where mapmakers manipulate district boundaries from behind a computer to maximize their own party’s advantage and guarantee the outcome of elections before anyone casts a ballot, is incompatible with North Carolinians’ fundamental rights guaranteed by the North Carolina constitution.”

As the second lawsuit alleges, intricate computer algorithms and sophisticated data about voters allow map drawers to create, with what has been described as laser-like precision, computer-generated maps in their favor.

Many organizations and individuals have criticized the process of allowing the political party in power to determine redistricting maps, and as long as it continues, that process will remain contentious with lots of litigation.

There have been frequent calls to reform the redistricting process with an independent, impartial group. These calls are invariably joined by the minority political party — in North Carolina’s case, the Democrats — which has no say in the final decision.

Common Cause North Carolina, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy, has been arguing for reform for many years.

In the 2000s, they were joined by the state Republican party in opposing district lines drawn by then-in-power Democrat party. Now that the power in the General Assembly has switched, so has each party’s view on reform.

“As long as lawmakers, be they Democrats or Republicans, are drawing their own districts, it will always be, in our opinion, a flawed process,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina.

Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill reports that of the 7 million registered voters, 36% are registered Democrats, 30% Republicans, 0.7% other parties and 33% are unaffiliated.

For more from the Ocracoke Observer visit https://ocracokeobserver.com/

SEE ALSO: Dare County split in NC House redistricting. By Sandy Semans Ross | Outer Banks Voice 


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Publius

    Thank you for covering this important, although seldom understood, issue. Politics aside, this process will leave Northeastern North Carolina in the unenviable position of having much larger and unwieldy districts as compared to the rest of the State, brand-new elected officials with no relative seniority in either chamber, and little comparable voice as regards to appropriations. In short, in politics power follows the population and with the explosion of population in other areas of the State and the relative decline in Northeastern North Carolina, we’re on the outside looking in as it regards the legislative process…personally, I’d argue this process has just de facto federalized much of our region. In other words, our new districts highlight the old educational thinking around the three R’s for any North Carolina student…reading, writing, and the Road to Raleigh.

    Monday, Nov 22 @ 1:32 pm
  • Greg

    To split the Outer Banks into separate districts is absurd. Who in the wild world of sports came up with that?

    Tuesday, Nov 23 @ 8:25 am