Things get heated at congressional redistricting public hearing

- In a packed room at CPCC, people weren't holding back their opinions.

"I urge the general assembly to unpack the improperly packed first and twelfth districts and restore fair representation to the citizens of the adjacent districts," said one speaker.

In a last minute meeting, voters from across the state came together over video conference to tell lawmakers what they feel should be done about our state's congressional district map. 

"I recommend the judges stay with the court system and let the legislature continue with the process and at the end of the day, more people will participate, the quality of our government will improve," said another speaker.

A recent federal court ruling struck down North Carolina congressional districts one and twelve due to illegal racial gerrymandering. The twelfth district runs through part of Mecklenburg County.

"Gerrymandering by any stretch of the imagination is immoral, unethical, dishonest," said Harry Taylor, one of the speakers at the meeting.

"The year is 2016 and some of the things that I’m seeing, I would have never thought I would see," said Representative Carla Cunningham.

But others say the districts are legal and ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the mandate to re-draw.

"This is the way it's been. If you're in the majority after census, you draw the maps," said Robin Hayes, the first speaker at the public hearing.

If the Supreme Court refuses and the general assembly has to approve a new map by Friday, thousands of absentee ballots could be up in the air.

"That's tough for the military, especially depending on the timeline if we're going to make mid-March," said Senator Jeff Tarte.

If lawmakers are indeed required to re-draw the lines by the end of the week, Governor Pat McCrory is expected to reconvene the full legislature on Thursday.

Lawmakers say the next step is to take Monday’s input to the redistricting committee - comprised of members from both parties - to address the mandate to re-draw the lines.

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