Governor approves new political districts for state

Published 10:23 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey approved the state’s four redistricting maps on Thursday.

Alabama and federal law requires the state’s voting districts to be redrawn every 10 years, in connection with the U.S. Census. Redrawing district lines ensures equal representation by roughly keeping the same number of people in each district.

Ivey called a special session of the Alabama Legislature in October to address redistricting. On Thursday Ivey approved U.S. Congressional District, Alabama Senate, Alabama House and Alabama School Board maps.

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Political analyst Steve Flowers said it was no big surprise the district maps all passed with no amendments.

“Everything has to be agreed on before hand,” Flowers said. “If you change one district line, it changes other districts. There’s already a challenge to the U.S. Congressional map, and it may have some merit. But, I think that will be the only one with judicial review.”

Flowers said the state’s 7th Congressional District is a majority, minority district and he said many Democrats believed a second majority, minority district could have been draw.

Flowers said he thought the Congressional district would stand as drawn though.

“A lot has changed since the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Flowers said. “A lot of African Americans have become very successful and moved into urban areas which were typically Republican. People will move to where they want to live and you can’t corral them into a geographic area.  People choose where they want to live based on what they can afford. I think the court will understand that.”

Flowers said whenever redistricting occurs, politics always play a role in district lines. He said he was aware some people had announced they would run against incumbents, and those people were drawn out of the incumbent’s district. Qualifying for elections doesn’t take place until Jan. 4-28, and Flowers said it would have been wise for those people to hold off on their announcements until after he district lines had been drawn.

Locally, in House District 89 and Senate District 31, the districts that encompass Pike County, the district lines remained pretty much intact. There was some slight shifting of the lines in both districts around Daleville and Ozark, but no major changes were made to the districts.