Sen. Terry Van Duyn declares support for redistricting reform

Sen. Terry Van Duyn

Sen. Terry Van Duyn

If the GOP majority in Raleigh ever decides to pursue redistricting reform, they’ll have an ally in Sen. Terry Van Duyn.

Van Duyn, a Buncombe County Democrat, was recently appointed to the Senate to take the seat left vacant when Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, died earlier this year.

“I think we have too many people in safe seats,” Van Duyn said during a reporters roundtable in downtown Raleigh Monday afternoon. “And that makes them unaccountable to their own districts, let alone the whole state.”

Now, lawmakers not only have the ability to draw lines based on voter registration, but also based on an area’s propensity to vote a certain way.

She said she was an advocate of redistricting reform even when Democrats were in the majority in Raleigh.

“We are carving out districts that are so safe that people don’t have to come to the table,” Van Duyn said. “That’s just not democratic. You don’t get to good decisions that way.”

The General Assembly is charged by the state Constitution with redrawing congressional and legislative lines every 10 years following the census. A number of reformers have called for the General Assembly to adopt some sort of independent redistricting process, with the aim of not taking partisan politics and incumbency into account.

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