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Massachusetts would have more legislative districts where blacks, Latinos and other minorities are in the majority under a new proposal based on 2010 Census numbers.
The maps released Tuesday would double the number of so-called minority-majority Massachusetts House districts from 10 to 20, including districts in Brockton, Worcester and Springfield, and a new Latino district in Lawrence. The three predominantly black districts in Boston remain intact.
The maps also add one such minority-majority district in the Senate, for Springfield. There are two similar districts in the Boston area.
"We've increased the number of majority-minority seats from 10 to 20, which there hasn't been a single advocacy group that's asked for any more than that," said Rep. Mike Moran, the House's redistricting chair.
Cheryl Crawford, of MassVOTE, has been advocating for increased minority representation, and says she's pleased with the draft maps.
"I feel very confident that they did draw a legally defensible map that will hold up and adheres to the law, the Voting Rights Act of 1965," Crawford said.
The proposal must be approved by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in time for the 2012 elections.
The Census found the state's black population rose 26 percent in the last decade. Latino and Asian-American populations rose 46 percent.
A new map shrinking Massachusetts congressional districts from 10 to nine isn't expected this week. Massachusetts' population grew at a slower rate compared with other states in the last decade.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on October 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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