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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Group Faces Obstacles In Changing State's Redistricting Process


A coalition wanting to change the state's redistricting process has cleared a big first hurdle. But it has another one ahead.

The State Board Of Elections says the group Independent Maps did collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Enough of them passed a sample test by the elections board.

Two years ago, a similar effort fell flat when the petitions failed to get that clearance. 

That doesn't mean the redistricting question is guaranteed a spot on the November ballot.

Independent Maps spokesman Jim Bray says it now has to fight a lawsuit questioning the proposal's legality.

"Our lawyers feel comfortable that they've drafted an amendment that fits with what the constitution allows,” Bray said.

Bray says an independent commission should draw legislative boundaries. Opponents say the plan doesn't go far enough to protect minority voting rights. 

Oral arguments in the lawsuit are scheduled June 30. 

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