NC Supreme Court tosses redistricting maps 

By on February 5, 2022

Will new maps put Dare County back in one piece?

Will the NC Supreme Court ruling put all of Dare County in one district? (nccourts.gov)

The North Carolina Supreme Court has struck down as “unconstitutional” the redistricting maps that were approved by a three-judge lower court panel last month and has given the General Assembly two weeks to re-draw them. Legislators will have to submit the modified maps by noon on Feb. 18 to the original three-judge Superior Court panel.

When plaintiffs appealed the decision to the N.C. Supreme Court, the court ordered all candidate registration for districts in the contested maps stopped and reset the date for opening back up the candidacy registration. It also moved the primary to May to allow time for the court to make its decision.

The NC Supreme Court vote on Friday Nov. 4 resulted in a 4-3 decision with four Democrats voting to toss the maps and three Republicans to accept them. Because of the tight timeline, the judges issued an order, with the opinion to be filed at a later date.

The maps submitted gave the Republicans a clear advantage with the GOP expected to win 10 or 11 of the state’s 14 U.S. House seats. The current breakdown of the state’s Congressional delegation is 8 Republicans and 5 Democrats. An analysis of the current state legislative districts indicates Republicans would hold a wider majority than they currently have if the maps are upheld.

“When a districting plan systematically makes it harder for one group of voters to elect a governing majority than another group of voters of equal size, the General Assembly unconstitutionally infringes upon that voter’s fundamental right to vote,” stated the Supreme Court order.

The maps, which when approved will be in effect for the next decade, were judged to be “unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt under the free elections clause, the equal protection clause, the free speech clause and the freedom of assembly clause of the North Carolina Constitution,” wrote Democratic Justice Robin Hudson in the order.

If the new maps aren’t accepted by the Superior Court judges – two Republicans and one Democrat – the judges can choose from maps submitted by the plaintiffs. If either side disagrees with the map selection, they can appeal the decision by 5 p.m. Feb. 23 which is the day before candidate filing is set to reopen. That could lead to a repeat of what happened earlier when the state opened and then closed the filing period when the initial order was filed, but then appealed.

Locally, the redrawn maps might remove the district line running through Kill Devil Hills which if left in place, could result in two state repesentatives for the county with one representing the area north of the line in Kill Devil Hills and including Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and Duck. The other representative would represent everything south of the line including a portion of Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and unincorporated Dare County.

Both Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard and Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul have objected to the line dividing the county.

State Senator Bob Steinburg’s county of residency has been eliminated from his current district, thus placing him in another district. House Member Bobby Hanig has filed to run for the senator’s position.

Correction: The map that divides Dare County in two is for NC House Districts, not NC Senate Districts.


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The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

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Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room (https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

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Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Comments

  • Kathy

    A two party system is bound to polarize. Will Independents and unaffiliated or a new Party ever be a factor in US elections?

    Saturday, Feb 5 @ 6:15 pm
  • Veronica

    (Thanks, Sandy, appreciate your reporting skills.).
    A most ridiculous situation that only makes sense if you understand the larger picture and pay attention to your vote; your one precious voice, used collectively, can make a difference.

    Sunday, Feb 6 @ 5:41 am
  • Look$see

    If there isn’t a 3rd viable party the US will Balkanize after much violence and loss. The 2 sides are highly incompatible for obvious reasons..

    Sunday, Feb 6 @ 6:10 am