Filing for the 2022 elections reopened as scheduled on Thursday, Feb. 24 after rulings made by the North Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
The NC Supreme Court decided to “split the baby” and approved the redrawn state legislative districts approved by the state legislature with a Republican majority, but it allowed the three-judge panel to redraw the congressional districts to make them more Democratic.
The redrawn state House districts passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities and were not challenged. However, the state legislature filed an appeal over the congressional districts and the plaintiffs filed an appeal over the state Senate districts. The NC Supreme Court denied the appeals.
In the original redistricting map Guilford County was divided into three congressional districts. When the NC Supreme Court ruled that map unconstitutional, the legislature redrew the map and Guilford County was divided into two congressional districts and that was not approved by the three-judge panel.
The congressional redistricting map was redrawn by the special masters under the direction of the three-judge panel and approved by the NC Supreme Court. In the current congressional redistricting map Guilford County is entirely in the 6th Congressional District. The 6th District also includes most of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, all of Rockingham County and Caswell County minus a couple of precincts in the northeast corner.
The redistricting map drawn by the special masters and approved by the three-judge panel and NC Supreme Court, reportedly divides the state evenly between Republicans and Democrats with one toss up district. The redrawn map by the state legislature which was ruled unconstitutional reportedly had four toss up districts.
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, President Pro Tem of the state Senate Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said in a press release, “The General Assembly’s remedial legislative maps met all of the court-mandated tests and were constitutionally compliant. A bipartisan panel of Special Masters affirmed that. We’re thankful for the trial court’s ruling today. We disagree with the interim Congressional map imposed by the Special Masters and are seeking a stay of that map, however, it’s time to move on and allow the filing period to begin tomorrow morning.”