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It is unclear how new maps will satisfy this point.

When asked, Republican leaders repeatedly quoted from a court opinion that not only declared race was the predominant factor in drawing the old maps, but said GOP legislators failed to produce evidence showing they needed to rely on racial data to satisfy VRA requirements. is not to consider race in that process," Lewis said.

Although that order finds only two districts unconstitutional, they touch so many other districts that the bulk of North Carolina's federal elections map will have to be redrawn.

The three-judge panel ruled last week that North Carolina lawmakers had unconstitutionally relied on race when drawing two districts: the 1st Congressional District, which is based in eastern North Carolina and currently held by Democratic Congressman G. Butterfield, and the 12th Congressional District, which stretches from Charlotte to Greensboro and Winston-Salem and is held by Democratic Congresswoman Alma Adams.

"The primary election day for hundreds of offices and thousands of candidates is less than 40 days away and, if the judgment is not stayed, it may have to be disrupted or delayed." Elections officials say they aren't taking sides on whether the districts are well drawn but say the case could create additional confusion in a year that has already seen court battles over voter ID and other election procedures.Judges note that although the district has been "an extraordinarily safe district for African-American preferred candidates of choice for over twenty years," the 2011 redistricting increased its black voting age population from 47.8 percent to 52.7 percent. Butterfield is running unopposed in the March 15 primary."This quota was used to assign voters to CD 1 based on the color of their skin," Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote for the majority, declaring that the lines violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. 5, 587 people had requested absentee ballots here, but Democrat Rep. To an even greater extent than the 1st, the 12th congressional district's large reach and irregular shape means it borders nearly half of the state's districts.But federal judges in Friday's ruling took careful note of the increase of the district's black voting age population from 43.8 percent to 50.7 percent in the most recent move to redistrict."Such a consistent and whopping increase makes it clear that the general assembly's predominant intent regarding district 12 was also race," Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote for the majority. 5, 354 people in the district requested absentee ballots for the March 15 primary, according to the State Board of Elections.

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