Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said that, when the commissioners’ districts in Guilford County are redrawn in the coming months, he’s going to do all he can to see to it that those lines are fairly drawn.
Alston said the redistricting effort shouldn’t be politically driven by either Democrats or Republicans.
All over the country, in places where redistricting is taking place, political leaders – as they have in the past – are attempting to draw the lines in a way favorable to their own parties.
However, Alston said he doesn’t want to see that happen here.
Since population growth in the county has been uneven over the years, he said, redistricting can help see that no area of the county is under-represented. He said that population changes in Guilford County over the last decade will make redistricting necessary.
“We have to redraw the districts because the population is changing,” Alston said, adding that he remembers the county’s redistricting a decade ago very well. In that go round, Alston and NC Senator Phil Berger got into a heated public battle over how the lines would be drawn.
Alston said this week that the Board of Commissioners will determine how the lines should be drawn and submit that recommendation to the state.
“There’s not going to be an attempt to favor the Democrats,” Alston said.
He added that it would be pointless for the current board to send a politically biased recommendation to the state that would just get rejected.
Alston said that, even though the Democrats on Guilford County Board of Commissioners currently holds a 7-to-2 majority, it’s important to realize that it was the Republicans who drew the current districts a decade ago.
Alston said it’s precarious when parties use redistricting as a way to advance political goals. He said the board he chairs will work diligently to come up with fair lines that keep political representation equitable.
It’s still very early in the process and some county commissioners and commissioner wannabes are watching closely to see how the lines will be drawn. Recently, District 3 Guilford Commissioner Justin Conrad noted that how the lines come out could determine who decides to run.
Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said that it’s early in the process and there’s not a lot of information to convey right now.
“I’ve been part of the conversation of how to ultimately present what data and when, but that’s it,” he said, adding that he hadn’t seen any advance data – or even older data – that will answer if the districts are to be redrawn, and, if so, how the districts could be reshaped.