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Proposed Alabama redistricting maps released earlier than expected

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery this week to debate new legislative, congressional and school board districts maps. The proposed maps were released earlier than expected.

Lawmakers are required to redraw district lines every 10 years to reflect population shifts found through the census report. According to Sen. Jim McClendon, reapportionment committee co-chair legislators follow a few guidelines to create these new maps.

“Wherever you get the biggest shifts in population, that’s where you get the most changes, the most noticeable changes. We’re also affected by court rulings that have come down since 2010. And we have to abide by those,” said McClendon.

The plan for the congressional districts increases the size of District 7. Right now, this is the only majority-minority district in the state, but Democrats and advocacy groups want the state to add another.

“The right to vote is a cornerstone of civil rights and civil liberties, and future redistricting plans should fairly reflect the political strength of communities of color,” said JaTaune Bosby, executive director of Alabama ACLU.

The goal is to make sure each district has roughly the same amount of people.

Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama congressional district maps.
Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama congressional district maps.(Source: Alabama State Legislature and Rep. Chris England)

With the State Board of Education map – some districts added entire counties where others lost that area.

Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama State Board of Education district maps.
Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama State Board of Education district maps.(Source: Alabama State Legislature and Rep. Chris England)

The proposed Alabama Senate Map also saw quite a few changes, for example down south in Baldwin County, an almost 5% population increase shrunk District 32 in size substantially. However, Bosby believes not all reshaping is good.

“We also know state Senate districts 2 and 7 in Huntsville are cracked districts,” Bosby said.

According to Bosby, this means communities of color are being unfairly divided, something she hopes changes in the proposed maps.

Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama Senate district maps.
Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama Senate district maps.(Source: Alabama State Legislature and Rep. Chris England)

And with 105 districts, the proposed House map could see a lot of debate from representatives over their new districts.

Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama House district maps.
Current (left) and proposed (right) Alabama House district maps.(Source: Alabama State Legislature and Rep. Chris England)

Now, all of this matters because it determines who will represent you in the house, senate, school board, and congress and it matters to elected officials, so they know the demographics of the people and the area they are representing.

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