New county district maps debated

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 09:38 AM.

Dacey said proposed district boundaries also conform more closely to local precinct lines and keep communities together.

Since Craven County is among the 40 N.C. counties requiring pre-clearance by the U.S. Justice Department for any district changes, Dacey said, “We needed to make certain the rights of minorities have not been compromised with any new plan.”

Minority District 3 Commissioner Johnnie Sampson said he had accepted the fourth revision of the maps and didn’t like the way subsequent maps affected District 5.

District 5 served by Commissioner McCabe and proposed districts 3 and 5 both have a slightly larger percentage of black voters than present districts, although District 5 never had a black voting majority.

Hurley said the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires increased scrutiny of Craven County district lines with a goal to create two minority districts.

“The goal is not to regress,” he said.

Tyson said the districts now “are so out of kilter that any citizen could probably go to court and overturn an election. I hope we can get this done for the 2014 election so we won’t have a potential lawsuit hanging over us.”

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