New Congressional maps brought to Alabama House and Senate
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Balenger
The state of Alabama has been tasked with redrawing its Congressional map to eliminate gerrymandering. This comes after the United States Supreme Court found Alabama’s map to be against the law and not in accordance with the 2020 census.
Alabama currently has one minority district when the high court says it should have two. Governor Kay Ivey called a special legislative session for this week to draw a new map that will hopefully satisfy the courts.
A so-called The Community of Interest map was presented to the state House of Representatives on Monday, but District 71 Rep. Artis McCampbell, a Democrat, said it does not satisfy the court’s requirement.
“The map that they presented is nothing but an incumbency retention map at best,” McCampbell said. “Because they diluted the number of Black voters in District 7 and took some of the main areas that District 7 was strong in and moved it to other areas, and now have made that district vulnerable as well.”
The Community of Interest map decreases the amount of voting-age Black voters to 50% in District 7 and increases the number in District 2 to 42%. This is a number that technically could be allowed by the courts, but McCampbell does not think it will.
Another map was approved by the special committee on Tuesday. The map introduced by District 8 Alabama Sen. Steve Livingston, a Republican, would decrease the voting-age Black voters in District 7 the same as the first map, but would leave District 2 with 38% of voting-age Black residents.
This creates what Livingston calls an “opportunity district,” where the GOP believes would satisfy the courts by giving voters a chance to elect a minority representative.
McCampbell and other Democrats say this attempt by the Alabama GOP is simply not enough.
The final decision will be up to the courts after the special session concludes on Friday.