Alabama House, Senate OK redistricting maps, but Dems say they’re not good enough

By WVUA 23 News Student Report Nick Balenger

The Alabama House of Representatives and Senate passed their own respective Congressional redistricting maps during a legislative special session on Wednesday. Next, each map will be assessed by lawmakers ahead of the special session’s end on Friday.

Both maps increase the number of Black voters in District 2, but neither make District 2 a majority-Black district. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ordered the state to redraw its voting districts because they violate the Voting Rights Act.

Republican lawmakers like State Sen. Gerald Allen, who represents District 15 covering part of West Alabama , said they believe these maps are enough to satisfy the high court.

“I do think that we as a body, our very, very best in fulfilling what the U.S. Supreme Court laid out and charged to us as the state of Alabama in accordance to the Civil Rights Act,” Allen said. “So we do feel like we’ve done exactly what they want us to do.”

Democratic Rep. Chris England of District 70 said these maps have not been vetted, unlike a map he proposed that wound up getting dismissed. Twice.

“(The dismissed map) respects traditional districting principles. It satisfies the Voting Rights Act and it complies with the court order because it’s compact, it keeps communities of interest together, it doesn’t have any unnecessary splits in it. And again, it’s compliant,” England said. “And the two maps you see from the Republicans don’t comply with any of them.”

The House will now review the Pringle map, and Senate will review the Livingston map.

The special sessions ends Friday.


Categories: Local News