Posted: Aug 1, 2011 3:13 AM
Source: Associated Press
BATON ROUGE- Today is the deadline for the U.S. Department of Justice to decide whether to clear Louisiana's new maps for congressional districts, which lawmakers drew in a special legislative session earlier this year.
The plan will shrink the number of Louisiana congressional districts from seven to six, starting with 2012 elections, because of the state's anemic population growth in the latest federal census.
The redesign needs approval from the Justice Department before it takes effect to ensure it complies with the Voting Rights Act, which guards against discrimination. If approved, the map will govern elections for at least 10 years.
The plan preserves one majority black district.
Black lawmakers voted in a near bloc against the plan, calling it discriminatory because it doesn't give minority voters enough influence in other districts.