40 YeARS OF DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN:
REDISTRICTING IN NORTH CAROLINA AND WHAT 2022 ELECTION RESULTS PORTEND FOR THE NEXT ROUND
MICHAEL BITZER, PH.D.
March 16, 2023
7 p.m. with a student poster session and reception at 6 p.m.
The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center CIty
320 E. 9th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Open to the public at no charge
In every decade since 1980, North Carolina’s politics have repeatedly struggled with redistricting, which is the redrawing of legislative maps. The effect of this constant manipulation of representation is that constituents argue about the fairness of district boundaries and the net effect on voting. Rather than being a routine adjustment to reflect changing populations, some say the revisions are designed to favor those in power. The 2020 cycle continued this pattern of the past: first legal challenges led to major US Supreme Court opinions that shaped the nation’s redistricting activities, which was followed by another set of maps that changed the political landscape of the “Old North State.” In his book, Redistricting and Gerrymandering in North Carolina: Battlelines in the Tar Heel State, Dr. Michael Bitzer of Catawba College traces the political and legal dynamics at play in North Carolina’s redistricting efforts. Since the book’s publication in 2021, more legal and political challenges have shaped the congressional and state legislative maps and the state faces yet another round of redistricting in 2023.
In the 5th Annual Talking Policy in the Queen City, presented by The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Public Policy Ph.D. Program, Bitzer will give a brief overview of the 40-year redistricting battles in North Carolina. His discussion will focus on what we learned from the results of the 2022 midterm elections and what might be in store for 2023. The Ph.D. program, which has operated for over 20 years, also presents a research poster presentation session to highlight the work of its doctoral students with a light reception. Learn More.
Michael Bitzer, Ph.D. is the Leonard Chair of Political Science and Professor of Politics and History at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, where he has served since 2002. He earned a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs in American Politics, Public Law, and Public Administration and a master’s degree in history from Clemson University. The focus of his studies was on modern American history, Southern political history, and the history of Nazi Germany.
Bitzer is the author of several publications including “Redistricting and Gerrymandering in North Carolina: Battlelines in the Tar Heel State,” published as part of the Palgrave Studies in US Elections (2021); “North Carolina: A Deeply Divided Partisan State,” in “The New Politics of the Old South, 7th edition” (Rowan &Littlefield, 2021), and “North Carolina: Even More Deeply Divided in 2020,” in “The 2020 Presidential Election in the South” (Lexington Books, 2021). He also received the Cawelti Award for Best Textbook/Primer on American and popular culture by the Popular Culture Association in 2009.
Bitzer has been Interviewed and quoted on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, London Broadcast Corporation, Australian Broadcast Corporation, France24, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Charlotte Observer, The Raleigh News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Irish Times, The Guardian, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times, among other media outlets.
Sponsored by the UNC Charlotte Public Policy Doctoral Program (celebrating its 21st year!), the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean's Office, the Department of Sociology and the Center for Professional & Applied Ethics in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Economics in the Belk College of Business.