Council members have been working on drawing new district lines since the data was released in August. However, once the lines are drawn and a vote is taken, is it a done deal?
Does Charlotte City Council approve the new redistricting map?
Yes, Charlotte City Council will approve new district lines; however, state officials can override the changes if they feel it's necessary.
WHAT WE FOUND:
According to the U.S. Census, Charlotte's population grew more than 20% from 2010-2020. Because of that growth, the city needs new maps to make districts more even in terms of population. The City Council's redistricting committee has three maps they are considering and will soon narrow that down to one.
Redistricting has not happened in Charlotte in a decade. Bitzer said redistricting usually happens every 10 years because of new census data. District 7 is the only district that is constitutionally compliant when it comes to the one person-one vote rule, so lines must be redrawn. According to North Carolina law, this task is managed by the governing body for the local government.
"It's up to the body that is doing the redistricting, so ultimately, this body of the City Council will bring forward new maps, new district lines," Bitzer said. "It will be up to the City Council to approve."
However, is City Council's vote the end all be all?
"At the local level, generally, this is a one-and-done kind of situation unless the General Assembly decides to step in and draw the maps for themselves," Bitzer said.
That's happened before. Not that long ago, either.
"Back in the 2011 redistricting cycle, Mecklenburg County commissioners decided to redistrict their district lines, and the legislature was not happy about it," Bitzer said. "So the legislature passed a law that redistricted the county lines."
This brought about a House bill that's now law. The General Assembly was able to pass legislation changing the districting lines in Mecklenburg County.
"The state does have the authority and the power to step in if they don't like the lines that are drawn by a city council or other local governments," Bitzer said.
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