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A federal three-judge panel ruled against the redrawn West Virginia map today, even though there was minimal animosity in the state Legislature's redistricting process last year.
The court was primarily unhappy with the population counts in each district. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R) redrawn 2nd district had about 5,000 more people in it than Rep. David McKinley’s (R) 1st district.
The state Legislature has until Jan. 17 to draw a new map that will appease the court. The Legislature goes into session next week. If it is unable to produce a map the court deems constitutional, the court will select an interim plan for the 2012 Congressional races from previously submitted drafts.
Complicating matters is that candidate filing begins Monday and ends Jan. 28.
The map passed in August only had one small change from the map used for the last decade. Mason County, on the eastern border of the state, moved from the 2nd district to the 3rd. Traditionally, the West Virginia map is divided by county and not precinct.
West Virginia did not gain or lose seats because of reapportionment this cycle. The current makeup of the House delegation is one Democrat and two Republicans.