Gerrymandering trial seeks to have district lines redrawn

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The state's House and Senate district lines may have to be redrawn if voting rights group Common Cause has their way.

The group is arguing the district lines were gerrymandered to give Republicans an unfair majority in state elections.

"The evidence will show that Democrats can win under the 2017 plans. It's just false that they can't," argued Ogletree Deakins lawyer Philip Strach. "They have a tremendous registration advantage. The evidence will show that if you add up the registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters, the Democrats can win 169 out of 170 of the legislative districts with zero Republican votes."

Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court ruled the state's congressional districts drawn by the General Assembly were gerrymandered and ordered them to be redrawn.

In the current trial, districts for state politics is at hand, in which the General Assembly drew those lines as well. Witnesses for Common Cause claim if the state legislature gerrymandered congressional districts, it's likely they did the same for the state's house and senate districts.

Common Cause's Robert Phillips argued gerrymandering keeps voters away from the polls by "denying that equal vote we all think they have."

If Common Cause is successful, state lawmakers would be forced to redraw district lines for the 2020 election.
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