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Groups fault RI redistricting process

February 23, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Advocates for open government and minorities are criticizing Rhode Island's redistricting consultant for withholding documents showing how changes to political districts will impact minority neighborhoods.

Local chapters of Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and three other groups say the consultant was legally required to report minority voting data to ensure minority neighborhoods were treated fairly in the redistricting process.

Lawmakers and Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) have already approved a redistricting plan to adjust political districts for population changes. But Common Cause and the other groups say the minority voting data is critical to determining whether the plan is fair.

State redistricting consultant Kimball Brace did not immediately respond to telephone calls Thursday.

Republicans have warned that they may challenge the redistricting plan in court.

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