The N.C. Attorney General's Office has submitted proposed new congressional and legislative districts for federal approval, according to the chairman of the Senate's redistricting committee.
Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican, said the documents, including transcripts from 17 public hearings, were submitted to the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.
The plans must be federally approved under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Some groups have criticized the new districts, arguing among other things that they violate the voting rights law.
But Rucho defended the districts drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. "We followed the letter of the law," he said.
Rucho said the Justice Department has 60 days to approve or otherwise act on the proposals. If approved, the districts would be in effect when filing for the 2012 elections begins in February.
"We would hope that the clock is running as of today," he said, "and hopefully by around the second of November we would have some positive news that we were pre-cleared."
Voter ID on hold
It looks as if we can scratch voter ID off the General Assembly's to-do list when it returns Sept. 12. Republican Sen. Neal Hunt informed his Wake County constituents in an newsletter by email that overriding the governor's veto of the bill would have to wait for the spring short session.
And House Speaker Thom Tillis told the Greensboro News-Record there wouldn't be enough time for a second attempt at an override this month. Tillis also said he thinks the September session will last three days.
The bill would require that voters show photo identification at the polls.
NASCAR at White House
President Barack Obama may be known as a basketball fan, but he apparently has time for NASCAR as well. He has invited Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and other NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors to a White House ceremony Wednesday afternoon. According to a White House news release,Obama will recognize the drivers' efforts to give back to their communities, continuing the president's practice of honoring athletes for their work on and off the field.
NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France also will attend the presidential meet and greet.
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