Battle lines drawn over Alabama voting lines

Battle lines drawn over Alabama voting lines

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The U.S. Supreme Court challenged the way the state of Alabama drew its voting districts in 2012.

In a split 5 to 4 decision, the justices ruled a lower court must re-examine if state legislators unlawfully put black Alabama voters into a smaller number of voting districts to limit their political voting power.

"Of course it's political when you draw the lines," said Republican Alabama House Representative Mike Ball.

The U.S. Supreme Court says Alabama's legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state's voting districts in 2012.

"It's unfair, it's totally unjust," said Democratic Alabama House Representative, John Rogers.

The Supreme Court ruled a lower federal court needs to re-examine legality of the voting districts.

"It was a classic 'no decision,'" said Ball.

Rogers challenged the redistricting plan, passed by a Republican majority.

"I am very excited and happy; I fully expected that ruling - now we've got time to get it right," said Rogers.

Ball sees the Supreme Court's decision differently

"The one thing they didn't rule that it was wrong," said Ball.

However, Rogers hopes this time around, the lower federal court finds the voting districts unlawful.

"It would be a much fairer plan for Democrats if they redraw the whole state," said Rogers.

Ball says when they were redrawing the districts, they tried to follow the rules, but found some contradictory.

"What we were trying to do was try to draw as many Republican districts as we could. The guiding force was not race, but it certainly was politics," said Rogers.

Rogers and Ball see two different answers to the problem.

"I think the biggest solution, we need more black voters in the Republican Party," said Ball.

Rogers is calling for a new state election right now.

"Thank God for the Supreme Court ruling right on the heels of Selma-Montgomery march; we finally got a victory - thank God," said Rogers.

Rogers hopes either the state will pass new voting districts or the lower court will do it for the state.

Meanwhile, Republicans hope the lower court will once again find the redrawing of the districts lawful.

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