Henderson County Republican state representative Chuck McGrady is introducing a second bill in the General Assembly for this session that would create non-partisan redistricting in North Carolina. This newest measure would leave the decision of whether changes are needed to redrawing of congressional and legislative election maps to voters via a proposed amendment to the state constitution. If approved, it would be on the 2020 ballot. Last week McGrady and supporters introduced a bill that would create an independent commission to handle redrawing of districts every ten years.
Currently, the party in power in Raleigh has a heavy influence on redistricting. In the last round done earlier this decade, Republicans spearheaded the redrawing of maps that allow them to hold nine of North Carolina's 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats have been accused of abusing the process as well in the prior decade.
During a press conference in Raleigh Thursday, McGrady said having voters approve non-partisan redistricting via a constitutional amendment would ensure the process always remains that way, no matter which party was in power. "An important rule for establishing this process is making sure they are enshrined in a constitutional amendment," McGrady told reporters. "(That) means they can't be changed very easily. They'll be protected from rapid legislative reversal." The potential referendum would be similar to what voters in North Carolina saw last fall, as six proposed amendments to the state constitution were on the ballot. Four were approved by voters.