- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina municipality would be forced to shift from city-wide council elections to seats elected separately by district voters in legislation passed by the House.

Members gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a measure ordering the creation of six single-member electoral districts for the Asheville City Council by this fall. The districts would be used starting in 2019.

Republicans backing the measure say electing by districts would ensure residents of south Asheville be represented. They say the council’s makeup has disproportionally favored central Asheville.

Asheville-area Democrats complained the legislature was once again meddling into local politics and that council members already have a fall referendum scheduled on the district idea.

One more House vote is needed before the measure returns to the Senate.

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