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NC judges deny requests to block elections under new maps

(WITN-TV)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:33 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WITN) -A panel of North Carolina judges has refused to block the latest legislative and congressional maps from being used for the 2022 elections.

The three judges on Friday denied preliminary injunctions in a pair of lawsuits challenging boundaries that the Republican-controlled legislature passed last month.

The decision can be appealed.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuits call the lines ``extreme partisan’' gerrymanders that put Republicans in the driver’s seat to retain their General Assembly majorities and win 10 of the state’s 14 U.S. House seats. Republicans say the maps are lawful.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “We are very pleased with the court’s ruling today. It is good news for North Carolina, and now it is time to move forward so that the election process can begin and the people of North Carolina can make their voices heard. Today’s ruling was a huge win for North Carolina voters.”

Representative G. K. Butterfield and the Democratic members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation, condemned the decision saying, “We are disheartened to learn that a three-judge panel on the Wake County Superior Court is allowing elections to proceed with a clearly gerrymandered congressional map. A simple glance at these maps is enough to note that they provide Republicans a baked-in advantage, effectively silencing large numbers of North Carolina voters. This decision represents a miscarriage of justice for North Carolina voters who are entitled to due process. By forcing the election to proceed with partisan congressional maps, the court is robbing North Carolinians of the opportunity to elect their leaders and instead ensuring that politicians get to choose their voters. These maps cannot stand. We are in full support of an appeal of this decision.”

The decision means candidate filing for the March 8 primary should begin at noon Monday as scheduled.

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