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Legislative redistricting proves very unpopular at public meeting

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was civics in action at UNCW Thursday night. The 2010 Census results mean the need for legislative redistricting. So the state legislature is changing the lines regarding our representation in the state House and Senate and the US House of Representatives.

It is not a done deal. This was a public hearing, and we did not have any trouble find opinions.

"I think it stinks," E.B. Davis of Wilmington said. "I think they need to go back to the drawing board and consider all of the information they received and come up with a better plan."

That's his opinion, and that is what this meeting was all about. It was a statewide, high-tech town hall meeting. You could come to UNCW and share your views with others at six locations across North Carolina.

Dawson Gage thinks there are political motives.

"I don't think there is anything necessarily racial on the part of the Republicans, but I do think that they are manipulating the Voting Rights Act," Gage said.

The meeting was well attended when you consider it lasted six hours. Yes, from 3 until 9 p.m. you could come and speak your mind while hearing others live. But most of the opinions were against the proposed redistricting lines.

Clancy Thompson watched the proceedings and told us most of the reactions were negative.

"The majority, in fact I would say the vast majority, of the speakers, I would say 90 percent, have been opposed to the redistricting as it is presented," Thompson said. "They say it is illegal. It goes against the Supreme Court that ruled in 2008, and beyond that it fractures communities."

One proposal puts downtown Wilmington in a district with parts of Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties in a state House district, and quite a few people here had objections to that.

This was just one public meeting. There will be two more before anything becomes law.

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