Local News

Law Student Request Could Halt May Primaries

Posted March 16, 1998

— A University of North Carolina law student has asked federal judges to throw out the state's legislative and congressional redistricting maps. May's primary elections could come to a screeching halt if the judges agree.

The question that challenge poses is actually whether or not citizens will be allowed to vote in the May primaries for congressional and legislative seats. The law student, conservative Jack Daly, filed his motion just seven weeks before the scheduled primary. It was also the first day of the absentee voting period.

The State Board of Elections would be thrown into a quandary if a three-judge panel rules in favor of Daly's suggestion that 15 of the state's 170 legislative districts and six of the 12 congressional districts are unconstitutionally dependent on race.

Many voters are already confused about what district they are in, according to Gary Bartlett, executive director of the NC Board of Elections.

Barlett adds that delaying the primaries would cost the state a great deal of money. Some observers say the nature of the three-judge panel leads them to believe that an injunction will be issued, forcing the legislature to redraw lines during its upcoming short session.

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