Lawmakers Correct Technical Errors on Redistricting
The technical errors were in the text, not the redistricting maps.
State Rep. Jamie Boles said the N.C. General Assembly approved corrections in the redistricting legislation text in a brief session Monday. He is a member of the House Redistricting Committee.
“The lines on the maps are correct,” Boles said Tuesday.
Boles and state Sen. Harris Blake, both Republicans, were called back to Raleigh Monday to vote on corrections to technical glitches that showed up in the redistricting legislation. The action comes on the heels of last week’s preclearance of the maps by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Monday vote on the technical corrections went along party lines, with Republicans carrying the measure in both the Senate and the House. The Democratic minority has raised objections to the redistricting maps since their adoption earlier this year.
“It was a technical correction,” Boles said. “It was a technical mistake by our computer department.”
Boles said the computer technology staff apparently did not pick up all the district lines when it entered the new districts into the text of the legislation. He said the error did not affect any of the districts to which Moore County has been assigned.
Unofficial sources report that the technical errors omitted almost 185,000 in the state Senate plan, almost 24,000 in congressional districts and more than 267,000 in the state House plan.
Although the Democrats did not vote for the corrective legislation, they did not raise objections to a third reading of the measure or to a bill to adjourn the special session. That way legislators were able to take all three votes on both matters on Monday, eliminating the need to return on Tuesday.
Boles said several legislators from both parties were missing when the House convened Monday. He knows of six Republican members of the House who were out of the country and thinks several Democrats were likewise not available to attend. A similar situation was found in the Senate.
The redistricting maps make changes affecting Moore County in both the legislature and Congress.
Under the new district lines, Moore County is transferred from the 6th District, represented by veteran Congressman Howard Coble, to the 2nd District, represented by freshman Renee Ellmers. Both Coble and Ellmers are Republicans.
The state Senate plan moves Moore County into the district represented by Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Asheboro Republican. The new district includes all of Randolph and Moore counties.
Moore is presently in District 22, encompassing Moore and Harnett counties, which is represented by Blake, of Pinehurst. Blake recently announced that he will not seek reelection next year and will support Tillman’s re-election campaign.
Boles’ District 52 will remain largely unchanged, encompassing most of Moore County, but the few precincts now in District 54 will be shifted to another district. At present one and a half precincts in Moore County are part of the 54th District, represented by Democrat Joe Hackney of Orange County, a former House speaker and now House minority leader.
However, the GOP-controlled legislature has not completed its business for the year and will return for another brief session in late November. Boles said a skeleton representation will convene for the 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, session and stay just long enough to read the agenda into the calendar. This will clear the way for both chambers to convene the following Monday to take up legislation for hurricane and disaster relief and other business.
Boles is unsure whether the November session would include votes to override four vetoes by Gov. Beverly Perdue. In earlier sessions the legislature overrode five of her vetoes. So far, four vetoes have not been overridden, including the “Restore Confidence in Government” bill that would require all voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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