Associated Press/PBS: North Carolina’s election maps for 2024 are racially biased, advocates say in lawsuit

Associated PressPBS: North Carolina’s election maps for 2024 are racially biased, advocates say in lawsuit

North Carolina voting-rights advocates sued Tuesday to overturn all of the redistricting plans drawn by Republicans and being used starting with the 2024 elections, saying legislative leaders unlawfully weakened the electoral influence of Black voters. The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, Common Cause and eight Black residents filed a lawsuit in federal court. They accuse GOP legislative leaders of intentionally moving this fall boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional districts in part so that many Black voters will be prevented from having the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. Instead, the plaintiffs contend, Black voting blocs are submerged into districts with white majorities that don't normally vote for Black candidates. For decades, Black residents have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates. "The General Assembly targeted predominantly Black voting precincts with surgical precision throughout the state in drawing and enacting the 2023 Plans, at the expense of traditional redistricting criteria, to achieve preferred district lines that diminish Black voters' ability to elect candidates of their choice at all levels of government," the lawsuit's authors wrote. Tuesday's lawsuit marks at least the third and most comprehensive litigation filed by voters since the Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted new maps in October for its own districts and for North Carolina's congressional delegation that are designed to boost GOP clout for years to come.

North Carolina voting-rights advocates sued Tuesday to overturn all of the redistricting plans drawn by Republicans and being used starting with the 2024 elections, saying legislative leaders unlawfully weakened the electoral influence of Black voters.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, Common Cause and eight Black residents filed a lawsuit in federal court. They accuse GOP legislative leaders of intentionally moving this fall boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional districts in part so that many Black voters will be prevented from having the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. Instead, the plaintiffs contend, Black voting blocs are submerged into districts with white majorities that don’t normally vote for Black candidates.

For decades, Black residents have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates.

“The General Assembly targeted predominantly Black voting precincts with surgical precision throughout the state in drawing and enacting the 2023 Plans, at the expense of traditional redistricting criteria, to achieve preferred district lines that diminish Black voters’ ability to elect candidates of their choice at all levels of government,” the lawsuit’s authors wrote.

Tuesday’s lawsuit marks at least the third and most comprehensive litigation filed by voters since the Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted new maps in October for its own districts and for North Carolina’s congressional delegation that are designed to boost GOP clout for years to come.

 

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