by Jim Stirling
Research Fellow, John Locke Foundation
Lawsuits over North Carolina’s new congressional and state legislative maps have been fast-tracked by the courts and will be heard right after the New Year’s Holiday.
The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV), one of the plaintiffs in the case against the maps, has requested the court consider imposing the so-called “optimized maps” (see page 62) they created for both the state legislative and congressional districts. They argue that their maps create greater political fairness.
So, what kind of delegation would these maps create if we only look at partisan lean?
The Civitas Center for Public Integrity ran the congressional districts through Dave’s Redistricting, a publicly available redistricting web app, and found that should that map be enacted, it would create an 8-6 advantage for Democrats.
That result flies in the face of the plaintiffs’ elections expert witness, Dr. Jowei Chen, whose report finds that an 8-6 map favoring Democrats is not statistically possible. Within 1,000 computer-generated map draws, no map created under legal criteria showed Republicans receiving only 6 congressional seats under the 2016-2020 composite election data.
The NCLCV maps use the guise of proportional representation to impose maps that favor Democrats.