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NC group: Panel, not lawmakers, to draw districts

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A bi-partisan group says it is time to stop allowing politicians to draw new congressional and legislative districts every decade so they stay in power.

The North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform urged the state Senate on Tuesday to pass legislation now for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 census.

A bill modeled on an Iowa law would direct the General Assembly's non-partisan professional staff to redraw legislative and congressional districts rather than the lawmakers doing so.

The House overwhelmingly approved the measure last year.

Former state Republican Party Chairman and GOP Congressman Bill Cobey says efforts by North Carolina politicians to pick the voters they'll represent have been fought out in courts for years after the redistricting decisions following the 1990 and 2000 censuses.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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