CODE RED Redistricting
North Carolina will soon begin drawing new district maps at every level. It is critically important that Communities of Color be involved, as the redistricting process impacts our ability to build and maintain independent political power, and advance the issues that impact our communities daily.
CODE RED, our redistricting education program, offers training and resources to help our community to understand and monitor the redistricting process and become more effective advocates for fair maps.
Voting Rights Historical Timeline
Take a journey through Black voting rights from 1865-2021 to connect the past to the present. This historical timeline demonstrates how the impact of Black voting rights is the same, just a new year. Hover over a time period to pause the slide
Emancipation and Reconstruction (1863-1877)
- Within 5 years after emancipation, African-Americans were winning elections across the nation. In North Carolina, it is recorded that 187 African-Americans were elected to state and local offices during this period, including one US Congressional seat.
- To quelch the rapid ascension of African-Americans to political power, the majority party determined to redistrict African-Americans into single districts. One example in North Carolina was the “Black Second” congressional district, which packed African-Americans from Northeastern and coastal counties into a single district. Between 1868 and 1898, this ensured consistent African-American majority wins in this district, but severely limited Black voting power across the state.
Voting Rights Act (1965)
Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was passed in 1965 to ensure that African-Americans would not be targeted in redistricting. This also offered federal provisions to fight voter suppression.
Repeal of the Voting Rights Act (2013)
- In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a key component of the VRA which had required states with a history of voter suppression to acquire “pre-clearance” from the federal government for new voting plans.
- Two hours after this decision, lawmakers in TX announced that they would move forward with gerrymandered redistricting plans, as well legislation to require voter ID.
- Three weeks later, North Carolina followed suit, passing legislation that would become widely known as the “Monster Voter Suppression Bill.” Parts of this law were later struck down, with the court saying it targeted Black and brown voters “with surgical precision.”
Delays in Census Data (2021)
- NC legislature passes SB 722. The bill allows for—but does not require—the delay of county and municipal elections scheduled for 2021, in light of the delay in Census data needed for local redistricting.
- Local bodies will have a short time frame to redraw election districts. This may lead to unfair districts and the ultimate dilution of Black votes. However, the delay creates more time for local redistricting than there would have been without SB 722. This could mean more time for public comment on redistricting plans.
Upcoming events + training
Sept. 25 Redistricting Hearing
Recording: The House Redistricting Committee and the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committees held a joint public hearing on Monday, September 25, at the College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City Campus. Senator Paul Newton presided.
Sept. 26 Redistricting Hearing
Recording: The House Redistricting Committee and the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committees held a joint public hearing on Tuesday, September 26, at The Atrium Room Appalachian State, Hickory Campus. Senator Warren Daniel presided.
Sept. 27 Redistricting Hearing
Recording: The House Redistricting Committee and the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committees held a joint public hearing on Wednesday, September 27, at the Legislative Office Building, Raleigh. Senator Ralph Hise presided.
Attorneys, Join the Fight!
We need attorneys to join the fight to maintain fair redistricting maps in North Carolina. If interested, please sign up. After signing up you will receive the scheduled dates and times for our upcoming sessions.