1432 Ferncliff Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
October 11, 2010 Campaign Update Charlotte, NC
Campaign Commentary with Rep. Ruth Samuelson
Election day is still three weeks away, but North Carolinians can actually begin casting their
ballots this Thursday, when early voting kicks off across the state. I often vote early so I can
be assured that no unexpected election-day issue will get in the way of me exercising my
19th Amendment right. But whether you are planning to go to the poll this week or at the
last minute on Nov. 2, it’s important to know that your vote in the state legislative
elections will have repercussions well into the future!
The legislators you elect this year will be grappling not only with big issues such as the
economy and the state budget, but also with the less prominent issue of redistricting.
Every ten years, the state legislature is required to take the results of the decennial U.S.
Census and use those new numbers to reconfigure every legislative and U.S. congressional
district in North Carolina. How those district lines are drawn next year will affect every
state legislative election, every U.S. Congressional election AND every vote taken by the
officials chosen in those elections for the next decade – until 2021!
In North Carolina – as in other states – the redistricting process has been highly politicized,
with members of the party in power often drawing the districts to best protect their
interests – rather than the interests of voters.
Last year, I and more than a dozen other Republicans co-sponsored a bill that would have
established an independent redistricting commission to remove some of the politics from the
redistricting process. Unfortunately, that bill has been stuck in committee for the last 20
months, and now it is unlikely the legislature would be able to pass the bill and set up a
commission in time for the 2011 redistricting process. (If we can, I will support it!)
As a result, it’s even more important that we elect legislators this year who understand the
need for a fair redistricting process that accurately reflects the political balance in the
For Mecklenburg County – which will likely gain state House and Senate seats as a result of
our population growth – it’s also essential to have representatives who understand the
demographics of our area.
The upcoming redistricting process also adds import to this year’s state judicial elections.
The last redistricting plan spurred a lengthy and complex court battle, and everyone expects
that there will be a legal challenge to the upcoming plan as well -- regardless of who draws
the lines. I’m sure many groups will be expressing their opinions regarding who are the most
able candidates for the state judiciary. As a member of the GOP, I would offer the state or
county party’s website as good sources of information. You can find links to those sites as
well as the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections on the “Links” tab of my website,
Whether you vote early, absentee or just in time, please vote wisely. In Mecklenburg
County, the Hal Marshall Annex uptown will be the only early voting location until next
Monday, when more than a dozen sites – including the Morrison Library branch in my home
district – open for business. Mecklenburg County’s elections board website mentioned above
has a complete list of voting places and times.
If you have any questions or comments about the redistricting process, I hope you’ll contact
me by going to my website – www.RuthSamuelson.com -- and clicking on “Ask Ruth.” I’m
always interested in hearing your thoughts!
District 104, Mecklenburg County
Raleigh office address:
418B Legislative Office Building
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
(919) 715-3009 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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1432 Ferncliff Road Charlotte, NC 28211