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NC Legislature On Track To OK New Maps This Week


RALEIGH — New electoral boundaries for North Carolina General Assembly seats demanded by state judges are on track to be finalized by this week's court deadline.

The state Senate scheduled floor debate on its proposed plan for Monday evening. The House passed its own map late last week, but it and the Senate are holding a public hearing earlier Monday to take citizen comment.

Each map must pass both chambers by Wednesday to meet a directive from a three-judge panel that declared dozens of districts unconstitutional because of excessive partisanship in current lines favoring Republicans.

The changes originate from the work of an expert witness for plaintiffs who sued over the maps. Legislators adjusted them to prevent pairs of incumbents from having to run against each other in 2020.

The same court that ordered the maps to be re-drawn has hired a Stanford law professor to check the revisions. Nathaniel Persily served as a special master to a federal court panel that ruled in 2016 more than two dozen of North Carolina's legislative districts approved in were illegal racial gerrymanders.

Persily could redraw the legislative districts himself if the judges decide lawmakers didn't follow guidelines the court outlined earlier this month.