Election results to play role in legislative redistricting

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North Carolina Republican legislators have decided election results can play a role in how dozens of General Assembly districts will be drawn, but the racial makeup of people living within those boundaries won't.

GOP members of the House and Senate redistricting committee voted Thursday for the criteria that will be used to redraw boundaries later this month. Federal courts have thrown out nearly 30 districts drawn in 2011 as illegal racial gerrymanders, and judges have told the legislature to approve new maps by Sept. 1.

The committees decided the mapmakers can look at past election results when drawing districts. The decision comes a week after speakers at public hearing pleaded for partisanship to be left out.

The panels also agreed racial data won't be used, but Democratic committee members argue without the information lawmakers will be unable to show judges that the racial gerrymanders have been rectified.