Massachusetts Election Maps to Come up for Vote

New Massachusetts legislative maps meant, in part, to boost the political power of minorities are expected to be debated and voted on Tuesday afternoon.

The maps will affect state Senate and House of Representatives political positions.

The changes, based on population figures from the 2010 U.S. Census, reflect demographic changes in the state during the past decade.

Hispanics number nearly 600,000 in Massachusetts, making them almost10 percent of the state population.

A 2008 Pew Hispanic Center report said there were some 246,000 eligible Hispanic voters in the state.

The maps double the number of districts in the House where minority voters would be in the majority, and would also increase from two to three the number of so-called majority-minority Senate districts.

The House and Senate are expected to vote on the maps during formal sessions on Tuesday.

The Legislature's redistricting committee is also expected to unveil a new congressional map soon. The number of districts is shrinking from 10 to nine.

On Monday, a trial over how to draw the new boundaries of Colorado's congressional districts wrapped up in Denver.

Attorneys for Democrats, Republicans and other political interests were delivering their closing arguments Monday in a case that could impact political races next year.

A judge is considering about a half-dozen maps, including proposals from both major parties and Latino groups who say they want to make sure the growing Hispanic population is fairly represented.

Democrats and Republicans filed lawsuits after the Legislature failed to agree on new districts this spring to reflect population changes in the last decade. Republicans say they want minimal changes to the current districts. Democrats say districts should change to make races more competitive.

The state's House delegation has four Republicans and three Democrats.

This story contains material from The Associated Press.

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