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Redistricting reformers hopeful about legislation this year

Posted at 4:07 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 16:07:49-05

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lawmakers who want to reform the congressional redistricting process in North Carolina say uncertainty over pending map litigation and the shaky balance of power at the legislature make them more optimistic their ideas will be voted on this year.

House Democrats and Republicans filed legislation on Wednesday to create a "nonpartisan" redistricting commission that would propose new legislative and congressional maps after each decennial census.

Courts have ruled that past maps drawn by Republican lawmakers are illegal racial gerrymanders. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on whether the current congressional lines also contain excessive partisan bias.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Chuck McGrady says he's hopeful fellow Republicans will be motivated by their precarious grip on power. The legislature is closely divided between the parties, and it's unclear which would control redistricting in 2021.