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Coming up: Redistricting to take center stage next week

Next week will be big for those keeping track of North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering issues.

To start, the House and Senate Committees on Redistricting will meet jointly at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building in downtown Raleigh.

An agenda has not yet been released, but the committees were selected to redraw the House and Senate maps that were ruled unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The meeting comes one day before a hearing set in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. A three-judge panel will hear from all parties in the racial gerrymandering case, North Carolina v. Covington.

The panel will discuss a timeline for new maps to be drawn and decide whether a special election will be held to remedy the constitutional violations, as well as take up other matters in the case. Each party will be given 90 minutes to argue the issues and may call witnesses.

Witness lists and any further points made via court documents must be filed with the court by the end of the day today.

Attorney General Josh Stein, who is representing both the state of North Carolina and the State Board of Elections, plans to call witness Kim Westbrook Strach, Executive Director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, according to a document filed today.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Greensboro.

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