Redistricting proposal impacts R-C area

Published 12:05 pm Saturday, June 18, 2011

RALEIGH – The initial stage of redistricting NC House and NC Senate boundaries across the state proposes a major change for the Roanoke-Chowan area.

On Friday, the first drafts of the redistricting maps were released. That proposal alters what are now House Districts 5 and 27, respectively represented by Annie Mobley of Ahoskie and Michael Wray of Gaston, both Democrats. It moves Northampton County back into what is now District 5 (it was formerly a part of the District). There, it joins Hertford, Gates and Perquimans to form a four-county District.

Bertie County, now part of Mobley’s District, would form a two-county District with Halifax under the proposal.

The local Senate District is also affected by the proposed redistricting. Currently, the R-C area counties are part of Senate District 4 represented by Ed Jones of Enfield. That District currently encompasses Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Perquimans counties.

The proposed redistricting would separate Jones from the R-C region. The proposal has Jones’ home of Halifax County paired with Warren and Vance along with portions of Nash and Wilson counties.

That proposal also calls for the creation of an eight-county Senate District, to include Bertie, Hertford and Northampton along with Edgecombe, Martin, Chowan, Washington and Tyrrell.

Gates County, currently in Senate District 4, would be moved out under the proposal, joining with Pasquotank, Perquimans, Camden, Currituck and possibly Dare to form a new District.

All proposals were released by the General Assembly’s redistricting committees. Redistricting occurs every 10 years following the completion of the U.S. Census. The boundaries, in keeping with federal law, change whereby minority voters can elect the candidates of their choice.

As required under the process, the General Assembly will conduct a series of public hearings on Thursday (June 23) regarding the redistricting process. Locally, a public hearing will be held that day from 4-9 p.m. at Roanoke-Chowan Community College (room 126 of the Jernigan Building). Registration for speaking will begin:

(1) At the hearing site: one hour prior to the convening of the hearing and will close prior to the beginning of the hearing.

(2) On-line: five days in advance of the hearing and will close 24 hours in advance of the hearing.  There are limited slots for on-line sign-up.  Please visit to sign-up.

(3) Each speaker will be limited to five minutes.

(4) To view the Voting Rights Act districts being proposed by the joint House and Senate Redistricting Committee leadership, visit

The General Assembly will vote on complete legislative and congressional maps next month. Their schedule is as follows:

July 1 – Release full maps;

July 7 – Public hearing on full maps;

July 13-15 (and to extend as necessary) – Committees debate and vote on plans; and

July 17-21 (and to extend as necessary) – Floor debates and votes on redistricting plans.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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