The maps that Republican leaders have proposed for electing N.C. General Assembly members in 2018 won approval on Friday from a key House committee and the full Senate, despite objections from Democratic lawmakers. There are more votes scheduled for next week. Each chamber must approve a set of maps that will then be sent to the panel of judges who ordered new district lines after finding 28 unconstitutional gerrymanders in the districts used for the past three election cycles. Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican leading the redistricting process, said he would not be surprised if new maps were not ratified until the day before the lawmakers have to report back to the federal judges who ordered them drawn again. The judges set a Sept. 1 deadline.
Democrats proposed amendments to the lines drawn by Thomas Hofeller, a veteran mapmaker for the Republican party who created the 2011 lines unanimously rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
There was long, and occasionally testy debate, in the House redistricting committee after Darren Jackson, a Wake County Democrat and House minority leader, put forth a map proposed by the challengers in the lawsuit that forced the redrawing.
… At a public hearing on Tuesday that lasted more than five hours, many critics of the proposed maps said that though the redistricting commission’s criteria did not call for considering the race of voters in each district that lawmakers could still be accused of racial gerrymandering.