A state legislative committee has approved congressional and state Senate redistricting maps, which are redrawn every ten years.
The Republican-led committee approved the maps earlier today. But committee leaders got into testy exchanges with Democrats, who accuse Republicans of crowding African-American voters into more districts to dilute their statewide vote. Democratic Senate Leader Martin Nesbitt tried to get Republican Senator Bob Rucho, chair of the Redistricting committee, to admit to what's known as "packing."
Martin Nesbitt: "The definition means putting them all in a few districts so you segregate them around the state. That's what I'm asking you if you heard that message."
Bob Rucho: "I'll just say to you that's not the definition of packing under the law."
Nesbitt: "Did you hear that message from the African-American community, or did I go to a different hearing than you did? "
The General Assembly is scheduled to vote on the newly proposed maps next week.