NC NAACP Statement Regarding Congressional Redistricting Maps
For Immediate Release
July 5, 2011
Contact: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President, 919-394-8137
Amina Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700
Atty. Jennifer Marsh, Legal Redress Coordinator, 919-682-4700
Atty. Irving Joyner, Legal Redress Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
NC NAACP: Partisan Gerrymandering and a Negative Impact on
Section 5 Counties in the Congressional Maps
Earlier today, the Republican-led majority of the General Assembly released a draft of the proposed congressional districts based on data from the 2010 Census. After a preliminary review of these proposed districts, the NC NAACP continues to have serious concerns about the results of their efforts and the process in which they were developed.
"An initial review reveals partisan gerrymandering in the districts on the Rucho-Lewis Map," said Professor Irving Joyner. "Currently, our state is fairly balanced in Congressional representation. However, this map creates three Democratic districts and ten Republican districts."
"Another major concern is that five counties covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are being removed from the 1st Congressional District," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, NC NAACP State Conference President. "In the heavily African-American area of Eastern North Carolina, this district was developed intentionally to overcome years of disenfranchisement and voter exclusion."
The five counties removed from District 1 are Gates, Washington, Beaufort, Craven, and Wayne. This change dilutes the voting power of these Section 5 counties to elect a congressional representative of their choice.
"The ultra-conservative, right-wing Republican leadership cannot use this map to claim they are concerned about African-American and minority political power and upholding civil rights," said Rev. Barber. "Once again the extremists in the General Assembly have used their power to continue a frontal attack on civil rights and voting rights. We will carefully watch and vigorously defend the principles and intent of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and our rights under the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution. No matter who is in office, we cannot allow North Carolina to turn back the clock on civil rights and veer off a course that would provide equal representation for all."