New county district maps debated

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 09:38 AM.

A packed house of Craven County residents spilled into the hallway outside the Craven County Board of Commissioners room Monday night, listening and speaking on a proposed county redistricting plan. The redistricting plan could create the first new districts in 20 years.

Commissioners said they would consider the comments, wait until the return of Commissioner Theron McCabe from the National Association of County Boards of Commissioners convention, and again consider the plan they have put together, probably at the 8:30 a.m. March 18 meeting.

While they had different views on the current maps, two former commissioners, Democrat Perry Morris and a Republican Chuck Tyson, both commended the board for finally addressing the complicated process for which even the boards on which they sat “kicked the can down the road.”

Commissioners Scott Dacey said the effort toward reapportionment of the seven districts has been under way for nine months and the goal is to complete the plan by Sept. 30 so the districts may be used in the 2014 elections. 

“As many of you know, several of the existing districts are significantly out of balance,” he said. That imbalance effectively denies voters in some districts from having a vote equally weighted to those in others, he said.

Marshall Hurley, Greensboro redistricting consulting attorney, said the process of drawing county districts to fairly represent one man, one vote includes creating equal population while respecting minority voting rights. The process also aims to make the districts as compact as possible with realistic boundaries that don’t unnecessarily divide communities, according to Hurley.

Craven County NAACP President Marshall Williams said,

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