FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Raleigh, North Carolina -- August 20, 2021 --
This week the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) House Standing Committee on Redistricting and the Senate Standing Committee on Redistricting and Elections released a tentative public hearing schedule which includes locations in only 10 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
Wake County, the state’s most populous county, was excluded from the list of 10 counties for proposed public hearing sites that was released on Wednesday. In addition, public hearings have only been scheduled prior to maps being drafted with no hearings scheduled after maps have been drawn and released to the public. This prohibits any meaningful feedback from the public on proposed voting maps.
Cheryl Tung, president of the League of Women Voters of Wake County stated, “After spending close to $11 million of taxpayer dollars over the last decade in litigation costs defending illegal maps, the NCGA spent nothing on public hearings during the 2011 round of redistricting, according to our public records request to the NCGA in 2020. The League of Women Voters of Wake County calls on the NCGA to increase the number of public hearing sites to include Wake County and also provide public hearings after maps are released. In addition, robust outreach efforts need to be made with 2 weeks advance notice so that the public has knowledge of and sufficient opportunities to participate. If the NCGA is committed to an open and transparent process as they have claimed, they need to actually conduct an open and transparent process.”
While the 2021 round of redistricting officially started on August 3rd when both committees met for the first time to discuss redistricting criteria, the League of Women Voters of Wake County has been asking NCGA since late 2020 to begin the redistricting process as hearings and criteria could be established long before the receipt of Census data. State Senator Ralph Hise, Redistricting and Elections Chair, has suggested that the list of proposed public hearing sites will likely be voted on during the week of August 23rd with hearings beginning the week of September 6th.
About The League of Women Voters of Wake County
The League of Women Voters of the United States was founded by suffragists in 1920, just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The League of Women Voters of Wake County convened its first meeting on September 27, 1920 and celebrates its 101st anniversary this year. It is and always has been a grassroots nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizens’ participation in government and their understanding of important issues through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters neither endorses nor opposes political parties or candidates.
Learn more at www.lwvwake.org.
Communications Director, LWV-Wake