Republicans and Democrats voice disapproval of new legislative districts

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Republicans and Democrats sounded off on proposed changes to legislative districts in the state during public meetings Tuesday.

The meetings were taking place at the same time across the state, including one at Beaufort County Community College.

There, some Republican voters said they were concerned changes to the maps would take away their conservative representation in Raleigh.

“Some of those are being put into districts that are not hospitable to them, and that is an absolute tragedy,” said Raynor James.

Democrats continued to voice concerns over gerrymandering and being under-represented in the General Assembly.

“My vote does not count in my district because it is structured to keep the current party in power,” said one voter.

Republican Senator Harry Brown and Representative Michael Speciale were both on hand at the Washington meeting.

“It’s always good to have the public’s input as you try to put these districts together,” Sen. Brown said. “Some of these districts are dramatically different.”

One of those districts is Senate District 3, which impacts current Republican Senator Bill Cook. Under the proposed changes, Sen. Cook loses a vast majority of his old district, and is now spread out over six counties including Beaufort, Martin, Bertie, Northhampton, Warren and Vance.

Sen. Brown said while there are changes, they tried their best to make fair, and practical, districts.

“We’re trying to abide by the court order, and I think that’s what you’ll see in these districts,” he said.

The state was required by the court to re-draw legislative districts that the court found to be unconstitutional and based on race. The deadline to approve the new districts is September 1st.

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