A ruling by federal judges on North Carolina’s congressional districts this month has turned the primary election on its head. Now there are two primary dates — June 7 for the congressional elections and the previously scheduled March 15 for all other races. Here’s a look at how the state got to this point, what the changes mean for voters and candidates and the chances for more election complications before November. How did we get here? North Carolina held elections in 2012 and 2014 under congressional and legislative district maps the General Assembly drew in 2011. All the while four lawsuits challenging the maps meandered their way through state and federal courts. All the litigation essentially alleged Republican mapmakers created more majority black districts than legally necessary by splitting counties and precincts. Republicans said the maps were fair and legal.
The state Supreme Court upheld both sets of maps twice. But a panel of federal judges on Feb. 5 threw out the 1st and 12th Congressional Districts, saying legislators weren’t justified in using race so much in drawing them. The judges told the General Assembly to come up with a new congressional map by last Friday and barred elections under the contested map.
The legislature complied. The U.S. Supreme Court refused the state’s request to use the 2011 map for the March 15 election while the state keeps appealing to defend the legality of the contested map.
Full Article: What happens now that North Carolina’s got 2 primaries?.