In the Senate, Cornelius, Davidson and parts of Huntersville would move out of the current 40th district of state Sen. Malcolm Graham (D-Charlotte) and into a new 41st district. The new district would stretch from north Mecklenburg, follow single precincts along the Cabarrus County border, and into southeast Charlotte, along the Union County line.
The newly redrawn House lines would leave the area’s 98th House District mostly intact. Rep. Thom Tillis (R-Cornelius), the House Speaker, is the district’s current representative. Cornelius and Davidson would remain fully within the 9th District, while it would lose some precincts in west Mecklenburg, Huntersville and north Charlotte.
Catawba College professor Michael Bitzer has studied redistricting for two decades, and told our news partner WFAE that the Republicans just did what each party does when it gets to draw the lines. “And that is basically work the map to favor them in probably the next few election cycles,” Mr. Bitzer said.The 41st district is a new one in Mecklenburg, added because of population growth. It formerly covered Iredell, Lincoln and Gaston counties.
“What they did was draw a rather weird looking district that’s probably going to lean toward the Republicans,” Mr. Bitzer told WFAE.
Meanwhile, Lincoln County now would lie in a district that stretches up into Iredell County. Voters in north Iredell County are now grouped with Davie and Rowan counties.
In a statement accompanying the proposed maps, Republican redistricting cheifs state Sen. Bob Rucho and state Rep. David Lewis said: “North Carolina has been the subject of numerous legal challenges to redistricting plans. Given this history, our primary goal is to propose maps that will survive any possible legal challenge.”
Republicans will hold a public hearing on the proposed maps on July 18, from 3-9 p.m., in Raleigh. Sites around the state, including Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, will be linked by videoconference.
Tweaks are expected to be made to the maps. Republican leaders want a final vote by the end of July, according to WFAE.
RELATED LINKS AND DOCUMENTS
North Carolina General Assembly 2011 Redistricting page
July 12, 2011, Joint statement by state Sen. Bob Rucho and state Rep. David Lewis on the proposed redistricting (PDF)
Current N.C. House District 98 map (PDF)
Proposed redrawn N.C. House District 98 map (PDF)
Current N.C. Senate District 40 map (PDF)
Current N.C. Senate District 41 map (PDF)
July 12, 2011, WFAE-FM, “Republicans Shake Up Legislative Districts In Mecklenburg And Surrounding Counties.”
July 12, 2011, Charlotte Observer, “Republicans, Mecklenburg stand to gain under proposed district maps.”