Stacey Abrams detonates ‘blatant’ NC redistricting cards
Stacey Abrams, one of the most vocal voting figures in Democratic politics, took aim Thursday night at North Carolina’s recent redistribution cycle, outlining the maps adopted for the state’s legislative and congressional seats as being among the most “blatant” in the country.
In an hour-long conversation with political commentator and writer Melissa Harris-Perry at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Abrams said North Carolina has outdone itself with the new maps adopted by the General Assembly led by Republicans earlier this month.
“I think you like going to court,” Abrams said to the audience’s laughter, when asked what she thought of the cards, which are in place for the next decade and already face two major legal challenges. .
Previously, state legislative district maps had been declared unconstitutional twice in the past decade, most recently in 2019.
The two pending lawsuits, one of which was filed by a group affiliated with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder who was behind the successful challenge in 2019, accuse GOP lawmakers of gerrymandering. It is the controversial practice of lawmakers drawing maps that shape electoral districts to include more of their own supporters and fewer supporters on the other side.
“Whenever politicians draw cards that do not reflect or respect the values ââor intentions of the voter, and instead focus on the will and deceit of the politician, it is called a gerrymander,” Abrams said. . “Or otherwise known as the North Carolina Maps.”
Now the GOP has a three-seat advantage in the North Carolina congressional delegation, which includes eight Republicans and five Democrats. According to the new cards enacted, the Republicans are expected to see their advantage widen to six, perhaps seven seats, in a 10-4 or 11-3 lineup.
With Democrats holding a slim majority of less than 10 seats in the US House, the new maps of North Carolina have the potential to significantly influence which party controls the lower house after the midterm elections 2022, The News & Observer previously reported.
U.S. Representative GK Butterfield announced on Thursday that he would step down from Congress just weeks after announcing he planned to run again next year.
Butterfield, a former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, accused state GOP lawmakers of racial gerrymandering of new cards that would leave him in a less favorable district and “disadvantage African-American communities” in Congressional 1st District of North Carolina, which he has represented since 2004.
âThe fundamental problem with gerrymandering is that it doesn’t just lock in power for individual politicians, it skews the future of a generation of people,â Abrams said. “Every 10 years sounds like just enough time not to care.”
Questions about his future political ambitions
Abrams’ visit to Durham on Thursday night was the latest stop on a nationwide speaking tour she launched in San Antonio, Texas, in September. Amid his appearances to audiences across the country, there has been growing speculation about Abrams’ future political ambitions, including his intention to challenge Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in 2022 following his defeat in 2018.
When asked if she wanted to “make some news,” Abrams responded between loud cheers: “I appreciate that, but no.”
Multiple controversies surrounded Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race, including Kemp’s decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the election while he was secretary of state, and concerns that the removal Tens of thousands of voters on the voters list was racially motivated, which led to Abrams acknowledging Kemp’s victory 10 days after election day but refusing to give in.
At the time, Abrams said she was not conceding the race because it would mean “acknowledging that an action is right, true or appropriate.”
On Thursday, Abrams dismissed the idea that his refusal to concede made her comparable to former President Donald Trump, or his supporters who revolted on the United States Capitol on January 6 and tried to disrupt the vote count. Congress and President Joe Biden’s recognition of victory in the 2020 election.
âMy fight is for everyone who is legally eligible to vote,â Abrams said. “Their fight is so that no one who disagrees with them can do so.”
January 6 was the “repudiation of America”
Abrams also said an increase in disputes over voting rights occurred as the electorate of eligible voters diversified.
âThe more we saw the transition of our electorate from remarkable homogeneity to the great diversity that we have seen time and time again, we saw an incredibly rapid attempt to limit their votes,â she said.
Abrams said the main difference between her and Trump and her supporters who revolted on the United States Capitol was that she believed the right to vote to be “sacred.”
âThe other guys don’t believe it, and on January 6, it wasn’t about who won the presidency, it was about who needed to be heard in the process,â Abrams said. “It was a repudiation of America and that’s why it shouldn’t be tolerated, and that’s why it bothers me that I’m being compared to these insurgent traitors and traitors.”
This story was originally published November 19, 2021 4:04 pm.