From Asheville Citizen Times.
RALEIGH – Federal judges on Monday rejected a request by North Carolina voters who sued over General Assembly district boundaries to hold special elections next March in new districts once lines are redrawn to eliminate illegal racial gerrymandering.
The unanimous order by the three-judge panel means the next legislative elections won’t occur until November 2018, as regularly scheduled. But the judges did tell Republican lawmakers who control the legislature that they’ll have to approve new House and Senate boundaries by this September — at least two months earlier than GOP leaders sought.
The three judges ordered lawmakers to draw the new maps by Sept. 1 but wrote that they would extend the deadline to Sept. 15 if lawmakers make enough progress on new boundaries in the next few weeks. Such movement would include disclosing remedial plans and creating a method by which the public and other legislators can make comments and present evidence.
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