RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina state attorneys have asked a federal court to delay its order directing legislators draw new congressional districts by the end of next week.
They are asking for the delay because the state's primaries are just five weeks away.
A three-judge panel found the 1st and 12th Districts unconstitutional because state lawmakers relied too much on race in drawing them in 2011. The judges said new boundaries were needed by Feb. 19 and without them no congressional elections could occur.
The state filed its motion on Monday asking the same court to delay that order because the March 15 primary is already under way and the legislature isn't currently in session. State lawyers say thousands of people already have requested mail-in absentee ballots and hundreds have been returned.