North Carolina House Approves GOP District Maps

Aug 28, 2017

Updated 3:15 p.m., August 20, 2017

The North Carolina House has approved a redrawing of dozens of district boundaries in response to federal court rulings throwing out nearly 20 districts approved in 2011 as unlawfully relying too heavily on race.

The House voted 65-47 on Monday for the lines after slightly more than an hour of debate. The Senate is expected later Monday to give final approval to its own Senate redistricting map. Each chamber also must pass the other chamber's map as well. The legislature has been ordered by a three-judge panel to complete their work by Friday.

Republicans drew the map and it appears it would keep the GOP in charge of the chamber. House redistricting chairman Rep. David Lewis says the boundary changes comply with the court order, but Democrats disagree, particularly since the criterion for drawing the map left out the racial data of voters.

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Federal judges want North Carolina redistricting completed by later this week, so the General Assembly is back to work voting on legislative boundaries.

The state House and Senate scheduled Monday floor sessions to debate and vote on their respective district maps. The Senate already gave tentative approval to its plan late last week on a largely party-line vote. Each chamber also will have to vote on the other chamber's plans before the two maps are approved.

A three-judge panel ordered last month that the final boundaries be sent to them by Friday for review. The judges previously threw out nearly 30 districts from the 2011 maps for relying too heavily on race.

The Republican-controlled House on Monday also could hold override votes on three of Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes.