NAACP: New voting maps 'highly polarized'

Posted August 15, 2011 2:54 p.m. EDT

— The state chapter of the NAACP railed Monday against proposed maps for North Carolina's congressional and legislative districts.

The Republican-led General Assembly redrew the maps to reflect changes in state population in the 2010 census. Democratic lawmakers and the NAACP have said that the maps concentrate too many black voters into some districts so that GOP candidates will have an easier time winning other districts.

"They have created and approved highly polarized, partisan and gerrymandered maps," North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber said Monday during a meeting with NAACP representatives from 40 counties.

"These plans create unnecessary racial disparity," Barber said. "We oppose these plans, which exploit the Voting Rights Act for partisan advantage by stacking and packing African-American voters."

Republican lawmakers have defended the maps and fairly drawn.

The U.S. Department of Justice or a federal judge must decide whether the maps don't impact minority voting before they can take effect.