Under the Dome

NC lawyers ask judges to consider special election in 2017 for NC House and Senate races

Almost a month after a three-judge panel struck down nearly 30 North Carolina House and Senate districts as illegal racial gerrymanders, attorneys for the challengers and lawmakers cannot agree on how to move forward.

Attorneys for the state lawmakers who have been forced by the federal courts to redraw congressional and state legislative district maps have suggested July 28, 2017, as the deadline for coming up with a new legislative districting plan that complies with the federal court ruling.

The challengers have asked for new districts to be drawn by 5 p.m. Jan. 25 so special elections can be held in 2017.

If the General Assembly fails to meet the January deadline, the challengers suggested, the court could appoint a special master to draw new House or Senate plans.

The challengers plan to provide more details by Sept. 30 on why they think the court should order a special election in 2017 instead of waiting until 2018 as the lawmakers have suggested.

Anne Blythe: 919-836-4948, @AnneBlythe1