RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Following the passage of newly drawn North Carolina Senate districts in the General Assembly last month, two individuals are formally challenging them in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed on Monday claims Senate Bill 758, which established the new district map lines, “unlawfully deprives Black voters of the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.”

In particular, plaintiffs Rodney Pierce and Moses Matthew, claim the bill is in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

According to the lawsuit, the bill was enacted despite having “ample evidence of racially polarizing voting and a history of discrimination in the ‘Black Belt counties’ of northeastern North Carolina.”

Having such evidence, the plaintiffs said there is an obligation under the Voting Rights Act to analyze it before drawing lines.

The passage of the new maps is also considered in the lawsuit to be the “the most recent episode in North Carolina’s long history of race discrimination generally and race-based vote suppression in particular.”

Following the filing of the lawsuit, Pierce and Matthew are seeking an order that would:

  • declare that SB 758 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,
  • prohibit future elections to be conducted under SB 758, and
  • require a remedial plan that includes a minority opportunity district in N.C.’s “Black Belt” counties.

The lawsuit names President Pro Tem of the N.C. Senate Phil Berger and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore as defendants along with the entire N.C. State Board of Elections, including Alan Hirsch, Chairman Alan Hirsch, Secretary Jeff Carmon III, and members Stacy Eggers IV, Kevin Lewis, and Siobhan Millen.

The plaintiffs have asked the court to move forward on an expedited timeline, asking for a decision on their request for a preliminary injunction by Friday, Dec. 1. Candidates are scheduled to begin filing to run for office on Dec. 4. 

See the full redistricting lawsuit below.