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Voter district lawsuit sees day in court

March 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C., March 1 (UPI) -- A suit trying to force South Carolina to redraw all 123 state House voting districts and seven congressional districts saw its first day in court Thursday.

The lawsuit accuses the Republican party of "packing" as many black voters into as few districts as possible while "bleaching out" all of the other districts, and effectively creating a permanent majority.

State Rep. Mia Butler Garrick says the goal is to eliminate white Democratic voters.

"It's a brilliant strategy," she told The (Columbia, S.C.) State. "[Republicans] base it on what we [black Democrats] have historically said we wanted. And that was to increase the … majority-minority districts to ensure minority representation."

Several similar lawsuits are playing out across the country, filed shortly after the 2010 Census, the newspaper said. The "packing" issue is a common concern among them.

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