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Looking Up at a Courthouse with Columns on a Summer Day
Press Statement December 19, 2023

NAACP, Voting Rights Advocates File Lawsuit in North Carolina, Alleging Discriminatory Electoral Maps

Looking Up at a Courthouse with Columns on a Summer Day


December 19, 2023 

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

RALEIGH, NC – Today, the NAACP North Carolina State Conference, in collaboration with North Carolina voters and Common Cause, filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the state legislature's illegal gerrymandering of voting districts that attack the rights of Black North Carolinians. Attorneys with NAACP's Office of General Counsel, Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Hogan Lovells are representing the plaintiffs in the case.

The complaint alleges various harms from all three maps, including:

  • Unconstitutional intentional discrimination against Black voters in the Senate, House, and Congressional maps;
  • Vote dilution in violation of the Voting Rights Act in North Carolina's Black Belt in both the Senate and House maps; 
  • Intentional vote dilution of Black electoral power in Congressional Districts 1, 5, 6, and 10;
  • Racial gerrymandering in Senate Districts 7 and 8;
  • Violation of one-person, one-vote in the Senate and House maps

"Ahead of the 2024 Elections, NAACP is working tirelessly to ensure that every American has the opportunity to cast an effective ballot. These discriminatory maps are a clear attack on those efforts," said Dominik Whitehead, Vice President of Campaigns at NAACP. "We are proud to stand alongside our North Carolina State Conference and fellow advocates as we fight back against any attempt to silence Black voices. This is just the beginning."

"Lawmakers know what they are doing. They are eroding the power of Black voters – power that was fought for over decades of violent discrimination and suffering," said Deborah Maxwell, President of the NAACP North Carolina Conference. "Today, the NAACP stands defiant and proud with its partners, knowing that the will of the people cannot be defeated by the racist tactics of a few politicians."

The full complaint can be read here

According to the complaint:

  • In 2023, the Republican-controlled legislature redrew state legislative and congressional districts to severely diminish the voting power of Black voters in North Carolina. 
  • Legislators achieved this by intentionally dismantling existing and longstanding state Senate and House Black opportunity districts, diluting Black voting power overall in North Carolina's Black Belt, and by selectively targeting Black voters in this and other areas of the state. 
  • Legislators imposed these discriminatory districts in an intentionally rushed and deficient process that denied the opportunity for meaningful engagement to minority representatives and citizens, and showed clear disregard for the interests, needs, and desires of North Carolina's Black voters. This process was calibrated to frustrate judicial review of the maps before the 2024 election.
  • Legislators targeted predominantly Black voting precincts with surgical precision throughout the state in drawing and enacting the 2023 plans – at the expense of traditional redistricting criteria – to achieve preferred district lines that diminish Black voters' ability to elect candidates of their choice at all levels of government.
  • The effect of these actions is to inequitably reduce the electoral influence of Black lives in North Carolina in violation of the law and the United States Constitution. 

Ahead of the 2024 Elections, NAACP is working to recruit 300K volunteers as we mobilize Black voters to build a democracy that works for everyone. Visit to learn more. 



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.