More than half of the North Carolina House has signed on to legislation that aims to remove politics from the redistricting process. Supporters want to get the bill passed, while neither Democrats nor Republicans know who will be in charge when the process starts again in 2020.
Every ten years state lawmakers draw up the maps for congressional districts and their own districts. So when one party has the majority, like the Republicans this time around, those maps historically favor that party.
But Republican Representative Paul Stam of Wake County says that’s just not good government.
“One of the first principles of justice is no person should be judging his own cause and that’s what redistricting is,” says Stam.
The bill would leave it up to the Legislative Services Office, in other words policy wonks, to draw the maps. Democratic Representative Deborah Ross of Wake County says that’s the way it should be done.
“This really gives the job to people who already have expertise and don’t have some kind of political perspective or baggage or anything like that,” says Ross.
A similar bill passed the House two years ago. Stam is not sure if it will clear the Senate. But he expects Senators will be more open to it once the current redistricting is out of the courts.