DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – With the new census numbers out, it’s time again to redraw the state’s election maps — all while North Carolina is getting a new congressional seat.
The last maps had to be redrawn after challenges went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Seen as the fairest of them all, Nate Fischer’s idea of what the new North Carolina congressional map should look like won the top prize in the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.
“So, on the last day I finished out my map, I had one of those things where you drink a lot of coffee and then you’re like working on it. Then I entered it and I was kind of, like, amazed to win it. I was really shocked,” Fischer said.
At 24 years old, the Durham resident has been drawing election maps since he was 14. His map differs from the version the legislature was forced to redraw and its new version approved by the courts. Fischer’s has no snake-like districts that take a lot of rural areas and lump them with urban cities.
“They can say, ‘Oh, this district makes sense. I go to Southern Pines all the time for shopping and I live down the road from Raeford.’ You know, that kind of thing. Whereas, with the current map where it’s a little bit more like elongated and you’re like, ‘I only go to Charlotte like once a year.’ That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me” he said.
As for whether he thinks the new official maps will be fair, Fischer said: “I’m hopeful but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I’m sort of cautiously pessimistic just cause you know because North Carolina redistricting has been so contentious the last 30 years.”