Pilot Light: New District Maps in Justice Department Hands
North Carolina's new redistricting boundaries are now in the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice.
State legislative officials filed the new district lines with a federal district court in Washington Friday, according to information from the state attorney general's office.
Under the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA), the state is required to secure approval from the Depart-ment of Justice (DOJ) before implementing new districts. DOJ approval is required in order to ensure racial equality in district boundaries.
Moore County is not among the counties included within the VRA, but congressional and legislative districts may be affected if significant changes are ruled necessary for adjacent districts.
NEW DISTRICTS - The districts adopted by the legislature in June will place Moore County in a new congressional district and a new state senatorial district.
The state House district would remain about the same.
If DOJ approves the new maps, Moore County will become part of the 2nd Congressional District, now represented by Republican Renee Ellmers. The county is presently in the 6th District, represented by Republican Howard Coble.
Also under the new maps, the county will be coupled with Randolph County to form a new senatorial district. Incumbent state Sen. Harris Blake has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012, leaving the field open for the incumbent senator from Randolph County and any other candidates emerging from either county.
Under the U.S. Constitution, redistricting is required every 10 years to accommodate changes in the population census.
VOTERS - Moore County registration books added 90 voters in August.
The total grew from 60,331 to 60,421 by the end of the month, according to the county's Board of Elections.
Republicans added eight voters to their roster, but Democrats lost 18. Libertarians grew by one voter. Making the biggest gain were the ranks of the unaffiliated, adding 99 voters for a total of 16,789.
Party totals now stand at 25,451 for Republicans, 18,050 for Democrats and 131 for Libertarians.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at florence@the- pilot.com.
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