Lawmakers OK new district lines for legislature, Congress

Posted July 25, 2011 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2011 10:10 a.m. EDT

— The House and Senate on Monday took up reworked district boundaries for themselves and the state's congressional representatives.

The Senate voted along party lines for a map that observers say would give Republicans an edge in 10 of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts. The state now has seven Democrats and six Republicans in the U.S. House.

The plan still needs to be approved by the state House and cleared by either the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal judge. At least one lawsuit challenging its adherence to minority-voting rights also is expected.

Democrats argue the boundaries in the Republican-drawn maps are illegal because they situate too many black voters in districts to reduce their overall political influence. Democrats have offered alternative maps.

Senators also approved the map for the 50 Senate districts Monday evening along party lines. Meanwhile, in a vote in which a couple of members crossed party lines, the House approved the map for the 120 House districts. It still needs Senate and federal approval.