Lawmakers approve bills to redraw congressional maps and move primary election

Lawmakers approve bills to redraw congressional maps and move primary election

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Lawmakers on Friday approved bills that redraw North Carolina's congressional voting districts and move the primary elections for the state's 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The votes came ahead of a deadline set by a federal court in a ruling that declared two of the state's districts unconstitutional.

The state House approved the Senate Bill containing new lines for the voting districts. Supporters say the maps were drawn using priorities other than race to comply with the court ruling. The new map does create change for voters in southeastern North Carolina. It moves all of New Hanover and Pender counties into the Seventh Congressional District served by Congressman David Rouzer. Currently parts of both counties are in District 3, which is represented by Congressman Walter B. Jones. and moves most of Bladen County out of the Seventh District and into the Ninth Congressional District, served by Congressman Robert Pittenger..

The state Senate made slight changes to House Bill 2, which moves the Congressional Primary Elections to June 7, and eliminates the Second Primary or "runoff" election in the rest of the races held on March 15. HB2 also details a new filing period for candidates interested in running for Congress under the proposed new districts. The period will begin March 16, the day after the rest of the state's primary elections take place. The filing period runs through March 25. It also says any candidate who filed to run for Congress under the current districts will be eligible to have their filing fee returned by the state Board of Elections.

To see a copy of the new map click here:

The state is appealing a federal court ruling that gave North Carolina until Friday to draw new congressional voting districts.The judicial panel found the state's First and Twelfth Congressional Districts were unconstitutional because they were drawn along racial guidelines.. However, until the state hears from the U.S. Supreme Court about a potential stay, leaders are moving forward.

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