State lawmakers charged with redistricting will meet for the first time today. State lawmakers redraw congressional and state legislative districts every ten years, after the US Census releases new data on population changes.
In North Carolina, Republicans are in charge of the process for the first time since Reconstruction. Some congressional and legislative districts will be enlarged to take in more people, while others that have too many people will shrink. Drawing districts has always been controversial in the Tar Heel state. The U-S Supreme Court has heard a number of cases challenging the state's redistricting plans. Lawmakers redrawing districts must rebalance them without diluting the influence of minority voters. Their plans must be approved by the U-S Justice Department.