Members of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP called Tuesday for local lawmakers to redraw redistricting maps, in an attempt to stem what they deemed unfair practices against black voters.
During a rally at the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Raleigh, the organization demanded a stop to any related legislative decisions, expressing displeasure with actions the Supreme Court previously ruled as racial gerrymanders put forth to pack black voters into certain districts and lessen their political power.
“Cease any new legislative action until new legislative elections are held on the basis of an electoral map that complies with the constitution,” said Rev. William Barber II, chair of the branch’s legislative political action committee.
The gathering also recognized the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibited the denial or abridgment of the right to vote.
The organization teamed for the rally with Forward Together Moral Movement, a 25-county tour of legal and policy experts and grass-roots leaders aiming to mobilize local actions against the legislature. The groups called for the North Carolina General Assembly to adhere to a state-imposed Sept. 1 deadline to redraw the redistricting maps for 18 House districts and 9 Senate districts.
In response, Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, dismissed the demands as grandstanding.
“Republicans are using a transparent process to create fair and legal maps after considerable public input, and our work doing the people’s business will continue, Barber’s sideshow antics notwithstanding,” Woodhouse said, the local ABC News affiliate reported.
Lawmakers expect to discuss additional redistricting plans by week’s end.