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UPDATE: Redistricting Approved; Are New Voting Districts Fair? [POLL]

The state House and Senate approved bills to redraw the state's voting districts — what do you think?

After several public hearings and and often-contentious hearings at the State House, both chambers of the General Assembly passed the new redistricting plan for Rhode Island voting districts on Feb. 1, the Providence Journal reported.

According to a press release from the General Assembly press bureau, the House passed four parts of the bill — one each for House and Senate districts, another for Congressional districts, and a fourth on other parts of the legislation — by votes of of 58-11, 57-12, 56-13, and 58-11, respectively.

The House also voted 56-12 in favor of the Senate's version of the bill, which passed 34-2 in that chamber.

The Special Commission on Reapportionment submitted the bills about two weeks ago.

Rep. Stephen Ucci (D-Johnston) served as a co-chair of the commission, charged with studying the changes in Rhode Island population between 2000 and 2010 and proposing new boundaries for the areas that state and federal officials represent.

Johnston's existing General Assembly districts would remain essentially unchanged under the redistricting proposal.

Under state law, new districts must be confirmed by March 27, which is 90 days before the filing deadline for candidacy in the 2012 legislative elections.

Have you been following the redistricting issue? Tell us what you think about the issue by voting in our poll and posting your comments below.

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