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Court: GOP mapmaker's files allowed in gerrymandering trial

RALEIGH, N.C. — Some computer files recovered from the home of a deceased Republican redistricting consultant can be offered as evidence in next week’s partisan gerrymandering trial in North Carolina.

A panel of state judges sided Friday with an election reform group, the North Carolina Democratic Party and registered Democratic voters who are challenging state House and Senate boundaries.

The plaintiffs subpoenaed the computer documents from the daughter of longtime GOP mapmaker Tom Hofeller, who died last year. He helped draw the boundaries being challenged. The plaintiffs’ attorneys say they want to use the documents to show that he created maps with a “laser-like focus” to maximize advantage for Republicans.

GOP lawyers argued the files mean little to the case and can’t be authenticated as authored by Hofeller because he’s dead.

Gary D. Robertson, The Associated Press

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