Raleigh Sen. Dan Blue, the top Democrat, vouched for the maps as well as Hise. Blue, a former N.C. Speaker of the House, has been involved in numerous redistricting efforts in past decades in North Carolina and was in the thick of this one as well.
“I think it was a remarkable experience, especially when you consider the current political climate,” he said.
Of the state Senate’s 50 members, 21 are Democrats. Most followed Blue’s lead and joined their Republican colleagues to support the new maps. But eight voted against the maps. A common refrain from the opponents was that they simply don’t think politicians should be able to draw their own maps in the first place.
“These are the fairest maps, and this was the fairest process, in North Carolina in my lifetime,” Charlotte Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson said.
Still, Jackson said he was voting against the maps because “independent redistricting would look just like the process we just went through, except it wouldn’t be politicians doing it.”…
Two Democrats on the redistricting committee, where the map-making work happened on a video feed streamed live online, alluded to attempts by politicians to rig the new districts that they said they caught and shot down.
“I believe we shut down attempts to re-gerrymander districts,” said Charlotte Democratic Sen. Natasha Marcus.
Marcus voted for the maps. But voting against them was Guilford County Democrat Michael Garrett, who also spoke of lawmakers tweaking the lines — and had previously voiced displeasure with how his own district looks in the new maps.