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Judge panel: Voting maps favorable to NC Republicans allowed to move forward

Tuesday’s decision from a three-judge panel increases the chances for Republicans to sizably expand their political power.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A panel of North Carolina judges on Tuesday voted to let the Republican-drawn legislative and congressional maps stand, dealing a blow to voting rights groups who had argued the boundaries were unlawfully created for pure partisan gain and to dilute the voting power of racial minorities.

The decennial redistricting process strongly influences the future political direction of the state. Tuesday’s decision from a three-judge panel increases the chances for Republicans to sizably expand their political power, as the GOP had been looking to reclaim a veto-proof majority in the legislature and help national Republicans regain control of the U.S. House.

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North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore defended the decision while talking to WCNC Charlotte on Wednesday. 

"We did so (drawing maps) and one of the most open and transparent processes, not only in the history of the state, but really in the country. And it's produced maps that we submit would be that would do that will represent North Carolina," Moore said. 

Moore said he expects a challenge on the decision to be made. 

"I strongly believe that voters should choose who their reps are and not have their reps cherry-pick their voters," North Carolina Attorney Josh Stein said following the decision on Tuesday. "I believe the constitution has that right and we'll see what the North Carolina Supreme Court decides." 

The appeal is expected in the coming days. WCNC Charlotte will continue to monitor updates as they become available.

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