- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on efforts to redraw North Carolina’s congressional districts (all times local):


7:45 p.m.

A new North Carolina election schedule approved by the state House would delay congressional elections by almost three months should races have to go forward under district boundaries proposed this week.

The House voted 71-32 on Thursday night to shift the March 15 congressional primary to June 7. The shift is contingent on the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to block a lower court decision that prevents elections under current district lines. A new filing period under altered maps would begin March 16.

The measure heading to the Senate also would eliminate runoffs for all 2016 primaries on both dates. Right now a leading primary candidate must get more than 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

The House rejected a Democratic amendment shifting all primaries to June 21.


6:55 p.m.

Republicans want to push back the North Carolina congressional primaries to June 7 should the U.S. Supreme Court fail to halt a lower court order preventing U.S. House elections under the current boundaries.

A state House committee Thursday evening agreed to legislation rescheduling the congressional primary, which was supposed to take place March 15 with other elections.

The proposal also does away with all primary runoffs in 2016. That means the person getting the most votes in any primary race will be declared the winner. Usually a leading candidate must receive more than 40 percent of the vote to win outright.

The measure was expected to be heard by the full House on Thursday night. It would still have to get Senate approval.


4:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Senate has passed a new map of congressional districts after a lengthy debate.

The vote sends the bill containing the new map to the House. It’s not clear when the House will vote.

A number of Democrats complained during floor debate that maintaining an advantage for the GOP in the congressional delegation factored too heavily in the redistricting process. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger said the new map was drawn to harmonize a number of criteria without favoring partisan advantage or other factors above others.


1:50 p.m.

A North Carolina Senate committee has approved a new map of congressional districts.

The full chamber is scheduled to vote on it later Thursday afternoon.

The committee adopted one amendment that made minor changes to the 6th and 13th districts to ensure that two members of Congress - Alma Adams and Mark Walker - are living in separate districts.

Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett and one of the leaders of the redistricting, said that had been the intent all along but some minor adjustments were needed to ensure it was the case.

The bill also includes language that will allow the state to revert back to the current map if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses or stays a federal court’s decision that prompted the redistricting effort.


4:30 a.m.

North Carolina legislators are coming back to Raleigh to pass laws about two months earlier than expected due to a redistricting court ruling.

The General Assembly was to reconvene Thursday morning for a special session to redraw the congressional district map because a panel of federal judges found lines for two districts unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Gov. Pat McCrory issued the session proclamation late Wednesday.

Republican lawmakers disagree with the judges’ ruling and have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in. Work during the session may be moot if the Supreme Court enters a stay.

GOP legislators rolled out a map Wednesday that puts Reps. George Holding and David Price in the same Triangle-area district.

Without redistricting, legislators were supposed to reconvene next for regular business in late April.

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