State lawmakers released a new voting map on Saturday outlining how they want to redraw the House voting districts, followed by the Senate proposed map on Sunday.
The new maps will be up for discussion during upcoming public hearings and the final design will be up to Republican leaders, though the court will be watching the proceedings closely after ordering the maps redrawn based on a 2011 ruling that the districts were illegal racial gerrymanders.
The three-judge panel ruling in the case required the new maps be approved and delivered to the court by Sep. 1, about a week ahead of the legislature’s planned timeframe.
Republicans currently hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate, with 74 of the 120 House seats and 35 of the 50 Senate seats, giving them the power to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes.
If under the new maps Republicans lost three House seats, or six in the Senate, they would lose their super majority.
Legislators were required to redraw 28 districts in total, nine in the
Senate and the remaining 19 in the House, but to fix those districts requires finagling with all, or nearly all, of the 170 legislative districts.
Four of the proposed House districts include more than one sitting House member including Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, a Democrat, and Rep. Susan Martin, a Republican, who are double bunked in Wilson County,
Rep. Jon Hardister and Rep. John Faircloth, both Republicans who are in the same district in Guilford County, Rep. Carl Ford and Rep. Larry Pittman, also Republicans are packed into a district in Cabarrus County, and finally Republican Rep. John Sauls and Democrat Rep. Robert Reives are in the same district in Lee County.
Under the maps Chatham County has become its own district and has no incumbent.
On the Senate side four districts have been double bunked including Wake County where Sen. Chad Barefoot is placed with Sen. John Alexander, Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram, a North Hampton Democrat is placed with Sen. Bill Cook, a Beaufort County Republican in the northeastern part of the state, Republicans Sen. Deanna Ballard and Sen. Shirley Randleman are both in a western district including Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes counties in their entirety and part of Surry County, and Republicans Sen. Joyce Krawiec and Sen. Dan Barrett are sharing Forsyth County.
Four of the Senate districts, as the maps are currently drawn, have no incumbent, including one on the west side of Wake County, a district covering the sparsely populated counties in the northeast, the Rowan and Stanly county district and the Yadkin/Iredell county district.
Public hearings are scheduled on the maps for Tuesday in Raleigh.