• John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 3: “Mays” and “Shall Nots”

    posted August 25, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Political and racial data are appropriately banned from consideration when legislators draw district maps. Preventing "double bunking" of incumbents can prevent map drawers from following redistricting best practices such as maximizing compactness and respecting political boundaries. "Community of interest" is a nebulous concept and often less helpful to drawing good districts than many believe it to be.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 2: Geography

    posted August 24, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Congressional districts must be equal in population, but legislators have some flexibility regarding population equality when drawing state legislative districts. Districts must be contiguous, and the rules are precise about what counts as contiguous. Districts are required to be compact, but North Carolina's geography often makes that impossible.
  • John Locke Update

    An Explainer for Redistricting Criteria, Part 1: Political Boundaries

    posted August 23, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina's constitution and related court cases severely limit how counties can be divided when forming state legislative districts. Precincts sometimes must be split when forming districts but doing so is disruptive for election officials and voters and should be avoided. It is often not practical to follow municipal boundaries when drawing district maps.
  • John Locke Update

    The Perils of Multimember Legislative Districts

    posted August 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Multimember districts for the North Carolina General Assembly were once common but were struck down over how they diluted minority voting strength. Multimember districts disconnect representatives from their constituents. Multimember districts force voters to consider many more candidates, making ballots more confusing.
  • John Locke Update

    Bill Regulating Election “Zuck Bucks” Is a Good Start But Needs Work

    posted August 5, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    The rush of “Zuck bucks” into North Carolina election boards in 2020 exposed the danger of private election administration funding. The General Assembly should ban direct private election administration funding, and a Democrat-sponsored bill could be the vehicle to generate a veto-proof majority in support of a ban. The bill has several flaws that the General Assembly should address before passing it, however.
  • John Locke Update

    State elections board is trying to make elections less transparent

    posted May 4, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    The NC State Board of Elections is attempting to make our elections process less transparent. The state board’s attempt to limit the number of observers to two per day is contrary to state law. North Carolina citizens have the power to speak directly to the state board about their proposed rule changes.
  • John Locke Update

    For cleaner voting rolls, North Carolina should join interstate data-sharing group

    posted April 28, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Joining the Electronic Registration Information Center would help the boards of elections in North Carolina more effectively conduct the important task of voter list maintenance. The State Board of Elections is already legally empowered to join ERIC, but it needs the General Assembly to pay for it.
  • John Locke Update

    Election Board’s cavalier attitude towards illegally transmitted ballots should be corrected

    posted April 21, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Under North Carolina law, absentee ballots can be delivered in person legally only by the voter or a near relative. Regardless, the North Carolina State Board of Elections requires county boards of elections to accept illegally transmitted ballots, no questions asked. Either the State Board of Elections should modify its no-questions-asked policy or the General Assembly should clarify what should be done with illegally transmitted ballots.
  • John Locke Update

    It is time to end absentee ballot postmark games

    posted March 1, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    State law allowing ballots to be returned up to three days after election day if postmarked by election day creates confusion and opportunities for mischief. Those who vote by mail should submit their ballot by election day.

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