State lawmakers and political observers will have to wait one more day to see the final set of proposed new maps for legislative districts.
The maps were scheduled for release Monday, but Redistricting chairs Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Rep. David Lewis,R-Harnett, announced in a statement today the maps won't be out till Tuesday.
From the statement:
Rep. Lewis said, “In an attempt to finalize proposed legislative maps and make them available to the public, we will be releasing them on Tuesday. It is important that we fully consider public input as we draw district lines and are responsive to the ideas of citizens that we have heard at public hearings.”
“It is paramount that the proposed maps be fair and legal as they are released. We look forward to unveiling them tomorrow and hearing from citizens across the state at public hearings next Monday,” added Sen. Rucho.
Last month, Lewis and Rucho released their proposal for new Voting Rights Act (majority-minority) legislative districts - 28 House districts out of 120, and 11 Senate districts out of 50. They're required by law to start with those districts. But still, many speakers at a subsequent public hearing complained it was difficult to comment on them without the context of the rest of the map.
Last week, the Redistricting committee heard public comments on its proposed congressional map, released July 1st.
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the final legislative maps, too. The Redistricting committee has scheduled a final round of video-conferenced public hearings across the state on Monday, July 18th.
Legislators come back into town Wednesday for a special session on redistricting. They're expected to approve their maps by the end of the month. The governor does not have the power to veto them.
Still, legislative approval won't be the end of the line for the maps. Because of a history of suppression of African-American voters in 40 counties, North Carolina has to submit its maps to the US Department of Justice for "pre-clearance." NC Republican leaders are planning to submit the maps to the DC Circuit Court for approval as well, hoping to at least speed up the process if not find a more politically sympathetic judge to rule on the proposal.