Thursday, December 01, 2016

Federal court orders N.C. to redraw GOP-friendly legislative districts and hold special elections

"A federal court on Tuesday ordered North Carolina to hold a special legislative election next year after 28 state House and Senate districts are redrawn to comply with a gerrymandering ruling," Colin Campbell reports for The News & Observer in Raleigh. "U.S. District Court judges earlier this year threw out the current legislative district map, ruling that 28 of them were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. They allowed the 2016 election to continue under the old maps, but ordered legislators to draw new districts in 2017." Some states—typically ones controlled by Republicans—have been accused of redrawing district maps to ensure that GOP candidates win races.

Legislators have until March 15 to redraw new maps, Campbell writes. "Every legislator whose district is altered will have their current term shortened. A primary would be held in late August or early September—the legislature is responsible for setting the exact date – with the general election in November, the order says."

State Republicans were critical of the decision, which they are appealing, Campbell report. Legislators said in a release: "This politically motivated decision, which would effectively undo the will of millions of North Carolinians just days after they cast their ballots, is a gross overreach that blatantly disregards the constitutional guarantee for voters to duly elect their legislators to biennial terms."

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