Redistricting in North Carolina will mean changes for some Polk County voters

Published 12:31 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

 Congressional districts redrawn by state legislators 

 

POLK COUNTY—The North Carolina General Assembly passed redrawn congressional districts in the state on October 25, resulting in changes for Polk County voters. The entire county was previously part of U.S. Congressional District 11, but will now be in both District 14 and District 11.

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“The new redistricting changed the shape of the state’s 14 districts, but did not add any additional districts for 2024,” explained Director of Polk County Board of Elections Cliff Marr. 

Polk County will have two different ballot styles for the congressional contests in the upcoming year; one for the 11th district, and one for the 14th district. The N.C. Senate and N.C. House districts will remain unchanged.

For the 2024 election cycle, there are currently 4,876 registered Polk County voters in newly-drawn District 11, while  11,598 registered Polk County voters reside within the boundaries of newly-drawn District 14. 

The Saluda and Cooper’s Gap precincts, and the majority of the White Oak precinct, remain in the 11th congressional district. Tryon, Columbus 1, Columbus 2 and Green Creek precincts, and a small portion of the White Oak precinct, will now be in the 14th congressional district.  

“White Oak was split by census blocks which is not a commonly used boundary for everyday purposes,” Marr said.

The Polk County Geographic Information System, which is available to the public and provides a visual representation of the changes, has layers for both the census blocks and the new congressional districts in the county. The GIS system is accessible online at Polknc.gov.

Municipal elections will now be held in even years, coinciding with state and federal elections, meaning that the ballots most Polk County voters use in 2024 will look different than in previous years. 

A lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court by several individual voters from across the state challenging several of the districts, including District 14. The lawsuit alleges illegal racial gerrymandering under the 14th and 15th amendments.