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NC Senate seeks bipartisan negotiation on new district maps

February 9, 2022 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Senate leaders said on Wednesday that Republicans and Democrats in the chamber will work together on creating replacement redistricting maps, after the state Supreme Court last week struck down plans arranged by the GOP.

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger and Democratic leader Dan Blue released a statement indicating work “in hopes of reaching a negotiated end product” would occur privately for now between both parties’ senators.

The senators “will share that end product with the public and the court as early as practicable,” the statement said.

The court’s majority, which declared legislative and congressional boundaries were illegal partisan gerrymanders, told the Republican-controlled General Assembly to turn in replacement maps by Feb. 18.

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Maps for North Carolina’s U.S. House seats and those for the state House and Senate must pass both General Assembly chambers.

House Speaker Tim Moore has said he expected votes in his chamber on maps next week. House Democrats and Republicans are being given equal access to rooms with map-drawing computers, but the public won’t have access to them, Moore spokesperson Demi Dowdy said in a text message.

The Berger-Blue statement said the Senate’s work would likely continue into late next week given judicial directives on how to create constitutional plans.