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Cooper tells lawmakers to redraw voting maps

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WRL.com

— Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday called a special session of the General Assembly to redraw voting maps that have been ruled unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court ruling that state lawmakers illegally packed too many black voters into 19 House and nine Senate districts when the draw legislative voting maps in 2011.

“It’s time that North Carolinians be represented fairly so that our legislature is no longer making headlines for the wrong reasons,” Cooper said. “The first step toward leveling the playing field of our democracy is drawing a new map.”

Cooper said the special session would start Thursday and run for two weeks, concurrent with the ongoing 2017 legislation session.

State law calls for courts to give lawmakers 14 days to draw voting maps before judges are allowed to step in and draw the maps themselves. So, Cooper said, if lawmakers can’t or won’t rework the maps during the special session, the courts should be allowed to draw the maps so voters know as soon as possible in which districts they will be voting and candidates know where they will be running if a special election is held.

“We have fought for too long over these maps. Let’s put an end to it and create districts that are fair for North Carolina voters. The sooner we start, the sooner we can end the bickering and focus on important policies and priorities,” Cooper said.

Cooper contended that the state has been working with an unconstitutional legislature for the past five years and, during that time, he said a number of controversial laws have been passed.

Cooper said it is in the best interest of Republicans to being redrawing the maps immediately.

“Delay only thwarts justice, if they adjourn this special session with no maps passed, then that sends a signal to the court that the legislature would rather have the court draw them,” Cooper said.

While Cooper said it is unusual for a special session to run concurrent with a regular session, it has happened before and will save tax dollars because legislators are already in Raleigh.

“We applaud Governor Cooper on his decision to call a special session to draw new legislative maps. The same Republicans who gave us these unconstitutional maps continue to show that they will do everything in their power to delay new maps, choosing to drag their feet instead of fixing their moral wrong,” said North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin in a statement. “This special session will save taxpayers money and is necessary for us to finally move out from under a dark cloud of a racial gerrymander that has hung over our state for far too long.”

Republican leaders told WRAL News that they did not receive advance notice from Cooper about the special session.

“Gov. Cooper has no constitutional role in redistricting and we have no order from the courts to redraw maps by his preferred timeline. This is a clear political stunt meant to deter lawmakers from our work on raising teacher pay, providing relief to the communities affected by Hurricane Matthew and putting money back into the pockets of middle-class families. We are already in session, and will continue to focus on this important work,” said Rep.

and Sen.

in a joint statement.

 

Events

 Regular Monthly Meetings

Go Beyond Voting – 2nd Saturday of the month – 10am – Democratic Headquarters

Democratic Women – 3rd Thursday of the month – 6:30pm – Democratic Headquarters

Senior Democrats –  last Tuesday of every month – 1:00pm – Democratic Headquarters

Democratic Men – 4th Thursday of the month – 6:00pm – Captain’s Bay, Russ Ave, Waynesville

Executive Meeting – 3rd Monday of each month – 6:30pm –  Democratic Headquarters

Auxiliary Groups

Go Beyond Voting

Meeting once a month, Saturdays at 10:00am, the Roundtable welcomes Haywood Democrats anxious to meet and discuss issues with like-minded people. Attend to voice your thoughts and discuss political issues as well as develop strategies, check facts, write letters, and create informational brochures. 2nd Saturday of the month – 10am – Democratic Headquarters

Democratic Women

The objectives of the Haywood County Democratic Women’s Club are to support the principles of the Democratic Party; to encourage able Democratic women to seek public office; and to participate in Democratic Party activities. The HCDWC also works to elect Democratic Party candidates and lends support to Democratic elected officials. Come join us! – 3rd Thursday of the month – 6:30pm -Democratic Headquarters, Judy Russell, President, djrussell2003@att.net

Senior Democrats

The objectives of the Haywood County Senior Democrats are to work to get Democratic candidates elected to public office; to advocate for issues of concern to seniors; and to educate voters and potential voters about issues and candidates.  Any registered Democrat over the age of 50 is eligible for membership. Come join us!  –  last Tuesday of every month – 1:00 pm @Democratic Headquarters
Juanita Dixon, President, sjdixon28716@yahoo.com

Democratic Men

The purpose of the Haywood County Democratic Men’s Club is to promote the interests of the Democratic Party and to help get Democratic candidates elected to all levels of government. In addition, the club provides financial assistance and counsel to the Haywood Democratic Party. Join us the 4th Thursday of the month – Captain’s Bay, Russ Ave.
Tom Alexander, President, RTA95240@gmail.com

Young Democrats

Efforts are underway to reorganize the Haywood County Young Democrats. Any registered Democrat under the age of 36 interested in joining should contact Will Shuford at shufordwill@gmail.com

Any group of 5 or more young Democrats can organize within their county as an official chapter of Young Democrats of North Carolina (YDNC). By promoting the values of freedom, fairness, equality and social justice, the Young Democrats organization provides the youth of North Carolina a vehicle for progressive change.