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Common Cause, NC Democratic Party file gerrymandering lawsuit against General Assembly

Common Cause and the North Carolina Democratic Party have filed a new lawsuit against the North Carolina General Assembly. They claim Republicans who who hold the majority in the legislature are manipulating legislative district maps.

"One way to think of gerrymandering is elected officials picking who their constituents are, rather than the constituents picking their elected officials," said Brandon Lenoir, High Point University's political expert.

The results from the past midterm election helped prompt this lawsuit.

"At the state level, once again, because of that break down of 50/50 vote share across the state based on Democrats and Republicans, you would anticipate that the General Assembly would also be split 50/50," Lenoir said. "There is just slightly less than a super majority for Republicans in both the House and the Senate."

According to this new lawsuit Common Cause and the state's Democratic Party filed Tuesday morning, they believe the way the current maps are drawn leave them at a major disadvantage during elections.

"I think that there have been multiple attempts to address changing the way that the districts are drawn and how the process for making those decisions. The people who've brought the suit up have not been successful in those attempts," Lenoir said.

Now they're asking for the court system to interfere once again, ahead of the upcoming 2020 elections. If Republicans control the legislature, it will be up to them to redraw the maps for that election.

"This isn't just a Republican issue nationally, Democrats have also done this in democratically held states, but it draws in the question whether or not the process of drawing those lines is equitable," Lenoir said.

The North Carolina GOP sent out a response to the lawsuit saying, "Only North Carolina Democrats would file a lawsuit to overturn districts that they just won."

FOX8 received a statement from the office of North Carolina Speaker Tim Moore, saying they're focusing on serving the North Carolina voters and these lawsuits are getting in the way.