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Maine Must Redraw Districts Before 2012 Election, Judges Rule

A three-judge federal panel said today that Maine must expedite congressional redistricting and cannot delay the process until after the 2012 elections.

The judges issued an oral opinion, said Tim Woodcock, the attorney who brought the case challenging Maine’s system as a violation of the Supreme Court’s “one person, one vote” doctrine.

The 2010 Census revealed an 8,669-person difference between the 1st District of Democrat Chellie Pingree and the lesser-populated 2nd District of Democrat Michael Michaud. The state Democratic Party had argued against a speedy redistricting on the grounds that federal law doesn’t dictate a time frame for states to redraw congressional districts.

Maine is the only multidistrict state with a law that mandates redistricting in years ending with the numeral three.

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