WHEN the Raleigh City Council moved the city’s municipal election from October 2021 to November 2022, all council members were given an additional year in office. Although I’m betting our next chance to vote will indeed be November 8th this year, the question remains about who some residents will be able to vote for.
WHERE you vote depends on your address. Find your polling place here and consider submitting your ballot before Nov. 8th at an early voting location or by mail, whichever is most convenient.
WHO you can vote for could change this year due to redistricting. Raleigh City Council currently has five district seats (A,B,C,D,E), two at-large seats and the mayor. The districts are geographic areas that each represent approximately 100,000 individuals. I live in District D which is the southwest area of the city, essentially south of Wade Avenue and west of downtown.
New census maps every 10 years mean that district seats can change. A current redistricting proposal by council would move 55,419 individuals into different districts. North Carolina has a poor record on redistricting and the plan for Raleigh deserves scrutiny.
Already this year, the N.C. Supreme Court ruled that state redistricting maps would have to be re-drawn due to unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. The maps were so heavily skewed in favor of Republican candidates that they violated Democratic voters’ rights to freedom of speech and free elections.
In Raleigh, a key issue is the movement of majority minority (60% or more Black and Hispanic) neighborhoods to white districts, which could dilute the racial minority vote. Residents have opposed these changes and organizations like the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have raised concern. The Coalition recommends a community-informed process that adheres to the Voting Rights Act (legally required) to revise maps. We need a transparent re-districting process that residents can trust.