Reporting: Will Doran, for the News and Observer:
RALEIGH A political trial that has mostly been dominated by math and academic research erupted in drama late Wednesday, when a top Republican redistricting leader said on the witness stand that he had used secret maps, drawn by someone else, to guide his work.
|Rep. Destin Hall, testifying in the gerrymandering|
trial yesterday in Raleigh.
Photo by Travis Long, N&O
A Durham Democrat and former judge, Rep. Marcia Morey, asked the GOP redistricting leader, Rep. Destin Hall, at the time if he had used any outside materials to help in drawing the maps. Hall said no....
But on Wednesday Hall, a Lenoir Republican who leads the House redistricting committee, said that he would sometimes refer to “concept maps” that his top aide, Dylan Reel, had brought to him.
Sometimes Reel would bring the maps up on his phone for Hall to look at while drawing the official version of the map, Hall said in a deposition just before the trial, details of which came out during his testimony Wednesday. Other times they would meet in a back room, to discuss the maps away from the public mapmaking terminals which were livestreaming video and audio.
So the liberal challengers in the lawsuit asked if they could see those concept maps — to analyze them, potentially for signs that they used a process that violated the rules the legislature was supposed to be following.
But the legislature says those maps no longer exist.
The challengers accused lawmakers of withholding evidence, and suggested they knew it was going to be destroyed and didn’t try to stop it....
Secret fucking maps.