UPDATED: The "glitch" in the GOP-drawn redistricting maps means 475,867 voters were not assigned to a state House, Senate or congressional district, legislative staff revealed Monday, as lawmakers reconvened for a special session to pass legislation to fix the problem.
Upon questioning from Democrats, legislative staff acknowledged that the problem would not have existed if Republicans didn't split precincts when drawing the maps. Republicans didn't dispute the issue, pivoting to label the issue as a computer glitch.
The number of voters affected is likely less than legislative staff suggested because some of the missing areas overlap, but the total number of voters that were double counted couldn't be quantified.
As drawn now, the maps are unconstitutional because the unassigned areas left incongruous districts. Legislation expected to hit the House and Senate floors at 3 p.m. will fix the problem, Republican lawmakers said. From there, the "curative legislation" will be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, which gave an initial nod to the maps last week.
An official at the State Board of Elections discovered the problem in late October when trying to assign voters to Wake County judicial districts.
House Democratic leader Joe Hackney argues that the legislature can't just fix the redistricting legislation like an ordinary state law. Because the constitution allows redistricting once a decade after the new census numbers, a judge would need to declare the maps unconstitutional before Republicans can fix the holes.