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When does the new districting take effect -- if qualifying ends before the DOJ has precleared the district?

A county employee turned whistle-blower must wait until Friday to learn if he can run against his former boss, Madison County [Alabama] Commissioner Prince Preyer, in the June 1 Democratic primary.

Five members of the county's Democratic Party Executive Committee heard arguments Wednesday over whether Tommie Lockhart lives in Preyer's District 6. Lockhart is the former director of a federal welfare-to-work program Preyer managed called the Working Connection. ...

Lockhart, who lived in Preyer's district, said after the lawsuit settlement that he would challenge Preyer in this year's election. But he found himself outside District 6 when the County Commission on Oct. 3 unanimously adopted changes in commission district lines to reflect population shifts between the 1990 and 2000 censuses.

Lockhart and developer Bob Harrison, also a candidate in the June 1 primary, contend Preyer made sure Lockhart and other potential opponents were gerrymandered out of the redrawn District 6.

Preyer denied that accusation this morning, saying a computer program provided by the state largely determined how district lines should be redrawn. The only human calculation made affecting District 6 lines, Preyer said, was keeping unchanged its southern border, which roughly follows a line from Huntsville Hospital to the post office on Governors Drive. ...

Despite learning he was moved into another district, Lockhart qualified for the District 6 race anyway April 2, the last day he could do so. That prompted college student Robert Pearl, who lives in Preyer's redrawn district, to challenge Lockhart's candidacy based on the law's requirement that he live in Preyer's district at least 90 days before the qualifying deadline. ...

But Lockhart and his attorney, Robert Lockwood, argued that Lockhart still lives in District 6 because the U.S. Justice Department has not approved the commission's changes in district lines as required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Until the Justice Department signs off on the redrawn lines, Lockwood said, "it's just a proposal." -- Preyer foe waits on OK to seek seat (Huntsville Times)