N.C. legislators on course for on-time undoing of their partisan gerrymander
North Carolina's new state legislative district lines are on pace to be finished by Wednesday's court-imposed deadline after versions of the maps passed both chambers of the General Assembly.
The Senate's bipartisan, 38-9 vote happened Monday night. The House and Senate are now reviewing each other's maps, potentially making additional tweaks to some boundaries before they are forwarded for final approval to the three state judges in Raleigh who ordered the redistricting this month.
The judges said the current maps were gerrymandered to ensure continued Republican control to the point they violated the state constitution. In reviewing the new lines for similar partisan bias, the judges will be assisted by Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily, who was appointed on Friday to referee the process.
The court has the ability to tweak the news lines, and House Democrats don't think districts covering Robeson, Columbus and Pender counties will pass the proverbial sniff test, according to WRAL. The state House maps were passed on Friday, but were more controversial, meaning the Senate maps will be the ones most likely passed on to the court.
These new maps will only be used for one election before they are redrawn using data from the 2020 census.
Marginal improvements have been made to help voters understand the questions posed to them on the ballot this November, a new study concludes, but such ballot measures still favor the college-educated — who represent a minority of the U.S. population.
This year voters in eight states will decide the fate of a collective 36 such propositions. In a study released Thursday, Ballotpedia assessed how easy it is to comprehend what each proposal would accomplish, concluding that the difficulty level had decreased compared with the referendums decided in the last off-year election of 2017 — but not by much.
In fact, according to a pair of well-established tests, 21 of the 36 ballot measures cannot be understood by the 40 percent of the voting-age population who never attended college.
Colorado has become the second state to ask the Supreme Court to decide if states may legally bind their presidential electors to vote for the candidate who carried their state.
The issue of so-called faithless electors is the latest aspect of an increasingly heated debate about the virtues and flaws of the Electoral College that has blossomed, especially among progressive democracy reform advocates, now that two of the past five presidential winners (Donald Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2000) got to the Oval Office despite losing the national popular vote.