North Carolina Republicans have cleared a significant hurdle in their drawing of new districts for the state's seats in Congress and the General Assembly, despite problems with the text of the laws defining the boundaries.
The U.S. Department of Justice told state attorneys Tuesday night it won't oppose the state's maps approved in July.
The Voting Rights Act requires the state to receive "preclearance" of the districts to evaluate whether the maps were designed to discriminate against black voters.
Democrats and other groups are still expected to sue based on other alleged Voting Rights Act violations.
The decision came on the same day the Senate Republican leader said lawmakers would likely return to Raleigh next week to fix problems with redistricting laws caused by a computer code error.
North Carolina's redistricting maps have hit a snag that may require the Legislature to return to work and restore sections left out by mistakes in the laws that created the boundaries in July.
A document by General Assembly staff presented to legislative leaders and obtained by The Associated Press indicates the laws creating the new maps for Congress and the General Assembly failed to identify more than 200 small sections of the state.
The missing areas affect dozens of districts and could force lawmakers to fix the problems to ensure the boundaries meet redistricting rules.
The Legislature is already scheduled to reconvene Monday.
The disclosure comes on what was supposed to be the day federal lawyers could sign off on boundaries after they were reviewed for possible racial discrimination.
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