Committee debates proposed Alabama redistricting maps

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Legislators from both chambers met Tuesday afternoon for the introduction of all four proposed district maps. There was plenty of debate to kick off the week.

One of the first requests of the meeting was a racial polarization study on the proposed congressional districts. Rep. Chris England requested this because District 7 remains the only majority-Black district for this map.

“You can say that a district itself is 54% or 55% African American, but on paper it doesn’t perform the same way,” said England.

Sen. Bobby Singleton also questioned the solo Black district because the state board of education map has similar demographics but has two majority-Black districts.

“The congressional district is the only district, the only map that we draw as a body that does not represent the 26% of African Americans. It only represent 13% of those African American population,” said Singleton.

“Our goal was to come forward with a minority district that we felt confident would give the minorities in that district a chance to elect the person that they were interested in,” said Sen. Jim McClendon, chair of the reapportionment committee.

Another issue was that many members pointed out that this was the first time they got a look at the proposed maps. England tweeted them yesterday, and he believes this is reflective of what the outcome of the week could be.

“I fully anticipate this process ending up in the courts somewhere. I mean just off the fact alone that the public, the people who are supposedly represented or getting to choose their representative also did not see this information. They saw it for the first time yesterday,” said England.

The congressional, state board of education and the Alabama House and Senate maps all passed through committee without changes. McClendon expects this session to last five days.

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