The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has put on hold a ruling tossing out new Wake County election maps until it decides on a request by elections officials to reconsider the decision.
On July 1, a Fourth Circuit panel ruled 2-1 that the state legislature’s maps for the Wake County Board of Commissioners and school board are unconstitutional and can’t be used in November. But the ruling was stayed Thursday until the Fourth Circuit rules on the request from the Wake County Board of Elections, which is the defendant, to have all 15 judges hear the case.
The plaintiffs have asked the court to immediately implement the appellate ruling. They want the Fourth Circuit to reinstate the election maps that the school board and commissioners had adopted in 2011 before they were replaced by the state legislature.
Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have asked to be named defendants in the case.
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In the meantime, U.S. Chief District Court Judge James C. Dever III has given Berger, Moore and the State Board of Elections a Monday deadline to tell him if they will come up with new maps. Dever says he will draw up new maps if neither group does so.
In a letter Friday to Dever, state elections officials said they don’t have the “software or expertise” to draw new election maps but would do so if directed by the judge.