LAURINBURG — Scotland County residents could lose a member of the local legislative delegation under proposed new legislative maps.
The newly drawn maps which were unveiled this week, take Scotland County out of District 66, the seat currently held by state Rep. Ken Goodman. Instead, District 66 would be comprised of Richmond and Montgomery counties.
Most of the proposed districts lean Republican, similar to the current makeup of the General Assembly, where Republicans hold supermajorities in both the state House and Senate. Lawmakers drew new districts after courts ruled that the current maps, drawn in 2011, are unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.
Goodman, a Democrat, expressed concerns about changes to the district at a recent Scotland County/Laurinburg Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast.
The proposal would also place all of Scotland County in District 48. That office is held by state Rep. Garland Pierce.
Under the new maps, state Sen. Tom McInnis of District 25 will continue to represent all of Scotland County, along with Richmond, Moore, and Anson counties. The district would no longer include Stanly and Rowan counties.
Nine of the state’s 50 Senate districts were deemed unconstitutional, along with 19 House districts.
Three federal judges who ruled the 2011 districts weakened the overall influence of black voters have ordered new maps drawn, approved and delivered to the court by Sept. 1.
The public was allowed to formally comment on the proposed lines Tuesday afternoon. There are several meetings set up across the state where people can attend and weigh in. The maps are not subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.
Pierce said the newly-drawn map may pass muster with the court.
“I think the party in power had the expertise to get it where it would pass and the judges won’t have much wiggle room to deny the maps,” Pierce said.
The Wagram Democrat added that a district that includes Scotland and Hoke could be “ideal” with the two counties bordering each other and having similar demographics.
“They are small with about 75,000 people with a 10,000 difference between the populations of Hoke County and Scotland County so because of those numbers it is an ideal district,” Pierce said. “My only concern is that when they do the 2020 census, Hoke is a growing county and could eventually have their very own district because their numbers are really growing in Hoke.”
But other Democrats have been critical of the proposed maps.
They said Republican mapmakers appeared to withhold necessary details about how the districts are composed.
“I’m sure GOP members have some of this information already and perhaps even their constituents,” state Sen. Angela Bryant of Rocky Mount wrote in an email.
Democrats and their allies are expected to oppose many boundaries, and they’ve already complained about criteria the committees used.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171. The Associated Press contributed to this article.