Editorial: We demand fair elections

0
61

Our state representatives in the state Senate and House in 28 districts benefited from unconstitutional district lines to win an illegal election. This is undisputed fact, settled by a three-judge panel in August 2016.

The Supreme Court affirmed that decision on Monday.

As a state, we also suffer from corrupted Congressional districts, as declared by the US Supreme Court last month.

The issue of these bogus districts has been bouncing around the courts since they were drawn in 2011. And though a few stray wisps of litigation remain in the judicial system, we say enough is enough: It is time to knock it off.

It has been years, and several election cycles, that these corrupt districts have been in play. False representatives have been elected to these districts, have written bills and voted on others that have become laws we all must follow, regardless of the illegitimacy of their authors.

In light of the US Supreme Court findings, and taking into account the state’s long history of voter disenfranchisement, we demand better.

This is not a new problem in the Old North State. Since 1980, the federal government has been forced to intervene in our districting process more than 40 times. That is more than once a year.

The Republicans who currently control the state General Assembly and the Democrats who came before them must all wear the stink of this shame, this most undemocratic and un-American scheme to deprive voters — and taxpayers — of true representation.

Shame.

In light of the US Supreme Court findings, and taking into account the state’s long history of voter disenfranchisement, we demand better.

We demand a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw our districts free of political bias. The one floated this session by House Whip Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) — and referred to committee back in February — will do. Hardister, whose District 59 was named specifically by the three-judge panel as an illegally gerrymandered district, cannot be accused of bias here.

We demand a new election for those contested state House and Senate districts, and we demand it this year. We have suffered long enough under a manipulated legislature, a disenfranchised electorate and a marginalization of the majority.

And we demand new Congressional districts for our seats in Washington. It makes no sense that we have just three Democrats in our Congressional delegation and 10 Republicans when registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in North Carolina by more than half a million —even if you throw in Libertarians.