October 14, 2017
Contact: Tyler Swanson, (336) 317-3586, firstname.lastname@example.org
Durham – This week, the Federal three-judge panel overseeing the remedy for the 2011 egregious racial gerrymander of elections –which has set our state backward for more than six years—heard oral argument on whether the General Assembly’s new district maps remedy their unconstitutional actions. Following argument, the court promptly requested recommendations for a Special Master to assist the court in ensuring fair maps to govern state legislative elections in 2018.
Newly elected NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, said “NC NAACP stands for the right of all people to free, fair, and non-discriminatory elections in this state. Our organization and the movement we serve remain at the frontlines of a battle over the soul of democracy and at the heart of combatting a cynical fight to steal and manipulate votes in this state and this country. The fight for equal voting rights in our state is not ancient history, it is lived experience now. The fight for voting rights in North Carolina has been an arduous effort to overcome one barrier placed in the path of African Americans after another. A lost vote can never be reclaimed, and the collective legacy of these lost votes leaves a lasting scar on democracy for generations. The extremist games must stop. Let democracy work.”
“NC NAACP requested the Federal court appoint an independent special master to provide unbiased guidance, curb the use of racial discrimination by the same parties who come to the court with unclean hands, and ensure that the people of North Carolina may once again have some confidence that our elections are, at very least, governed under legal maps. We are pleased that the court is now considering this route. ”
In support of its request that the Court appoint a special master, the NC NAACP filed the following Amicus Brief with the court prior to arguments this week detailing the myriad reasons why the process and resulting maps presented by the General Assembly cannot pass constitutional muster and once again bake in racial gerrymandering:
“Our commitment to the sacred right to vote will not let us divert our gaze as this extremist-controlled legislature once again attempts to strangle the voice of the people by putting forward tainted, racially discriminatory maps and tries to pass them off as a solution rather than what they are: more of the same egregious politicized manipulations of the right to vote. Make no mistake, NC NAACP will not rest until we ensure that the voices of the people are fully present in the courtrooms, in the streets, and at the ballot box!”