RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The expert who federal judges asked to redraw some North Carolina House and Senate district lines rejects Republican arguments that he set race-based population targets within new boundaries, saying he focused on other redistricting criteria instead.
The special master released Friday his final recommendations on a handful of districts he was asked to redo. The judges called in Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily because they are worried plans approved last summer by state lawmakers still contain racial bias and violate the state constitution.
Friday's proposal reduced black voting-age population in several districts compared to the districts the General Assembly approved. Persily says he used "race-neutral" criteria like district compactness and minimizing precincts split between districts.
The judges will meet early next month before deciding whether to adopt the changes.
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