North Carolina Republicans have been caught trying to intentionally disenfranchise voters in the state. As NPR reported in an exclusive interview, the GOP has fought in court to try and keep copies of redistricting maps, spreadsheets and other documents from becoming public because it would reveal their work to gerrymander political maps. But the daughter of late GOP strategist Thomas Hofeller posted them on her own website.
"They have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that got political maps thrown out in North Carolina, and they have raised questions about Hofeller's role in the Trump administration's failed push for a census citizenship question," NPR reported.
More files became available Sunday when Stephanie Hofeller published them on the site "The Hofteller Files."
"These are matters that concern the people and their franchise and their access to resources. This is, therefore, the property of the people," Hofeller told NPR. "I won't be satisfied that we the people have found everything until we the people have had a look at it in its entirety."
Ms. Hofteller explained that she decided to turn over the hard drives in March to aid in the North Carolina lawsuit. She posted the documents online to help preserve a historical record about her father.
"His work is really having a profound effect and has had long before anybody really noticed on a broader level," Stephanie explained. "I think from the historical standpoint, this slice of life, this little snapshot is going to prove very valuable."
Lawyers for her father's company have worked to try and keep the files sealed, saying they were "trade secrets" and proprietary information.
"I originally started sharing them with journalists as a direct response to the assertion by the legislative defendants through counsel that they should be destroyed," Stephanie told NPR. They along with other news sites were given the original files.
The documents reveal Hofteller worked to change maps in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, along with specific counties in New York and Texas.
A document that was saved in 2015 by Hofteller said that the GOP shouldn't change the Census Bureau's policy of including prisoners in population counts because "the actual effect on reapportionment and redistricting is not clearly known for individual states."
Hofteller's daughter said she didn't think her father cared much about protecting the GOP when he was gone. While he was alive, however, she said her father said that his goal was to use gerrymandering to "create a system wherein the Republican nominee would win."
"State legislature, it doesn't matter who votes for what. Congress, it doesn't matter who votes for what. And president, it doesn't matter," she noted.