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“Digital sunshine” for fair districting in North Carolina

September 6th, 2019, 6:51pm by Sam Wang


Today I filed a letter in North Carolina Superior Court regarding the landmark partisan-gerrymandering case that was decided this week. In it, I advocated for “digital sunshine” as a way to make the remedial maps as fair as possible. The letter is here.

The Court held that the General Assembly-drawn House and Senate legislative maps are forbidden partisan gerrymanders under Article I of North Carolina’s state constitution, and can’t be used for the 2020 election. They also ordered that the General Assembly redraw the maps in a public manner, with every change made visible. That’s a great first step toward transparency – but it’s only part of the solution.

I pointed out that to be fully transparent, the work product has to be posted in a digitally-downloadable format. That means shapefiles and/or Census block-equivalency files. These are downloadable formats that allow plans to be evaluated in redistricting software such as Dave’s Redistricting App or PlanScore.org. In conjunction with data that we are gathering at OpenPrecincts.org, such data can empower citizens who want to watch over the process.

If you live in North Carolina, make sure to weigh in with your legislator in favor of Digital Sunshine for redistricting!

Tags: Redistricting

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