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State Lawmakers Will Vote Soon On New District Maps

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Lawmakers hope to hold a special session of the state Legislature and a floor vote on new election district maps by May 24. This comes after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that new House and Senate district plans violate the state constitution.

The new maps will include single-member districts within county lines where possible.

State Rep. Russell Capps, R-Raleigh, said as a result of the state Supreme Court's decision, he feels less threatened about running for re-election.

"I think it insures the fact that the people of North Carolina have a right to vote for representatives rather than the legislature picking up they can vote for," said state Rep. Russell Capps, R-Raleigh.

Leaders of the House and Senate are making plans to bring lawmakers back into special session by late May. Senate leader Marc Basnight, D-Manteo, promises quick action on new district maps.

"We're going to do what the court tells us to do. We'll appeal it, probably not win on appeal, but we will carry out the court's order," he said.

House Speaker Jim Black, a Matthews Democrat, wants the situation resolved quickly. He said he does not want the courts to step in and draw their own maps if the Legislature does not have time.

"I think the people want their elected representatives drawing these districts. I don't believe it would be right for a judge to be drawing districts for 8 million people," he said.

The mapmaking process is under way. Lawmakers said they will have several maps to choose from. The special session in May is expected to take less than a week.

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