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State NAACP wants to see fair maps during redistricting special session

The plan for the congressional districts increases the size of District 7 which is the only...
The plan for the congressional districts increases the size of District 7 which is the only majority minority district in the state. Some advocacy groups want lawmakers to add another.(WBRC)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery this week to debate new legislative, congressional and school board districts maps.

The plan for the congressional districts increases the size of District 7 which is the only majority minority district in the state. Some advocacy groups want lawmakers to add another.

During the Special Session on redistricting, activists said they hope to see fair maps when lawmakers decide congressional and legislative districts.

“Fair and equal maps and not trying to pack all African Americans in one district.. nor do we scatter them out so thinly that we cannot elect a person of our choice,” Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP said.

Census data shows Alabama’s Black population is nearly 27%. Almost two-thirds of Black voters are in District 7 which includes Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and a lot of the Black Belt counties.

A lawsuit filed last month says Alabama’s congressional districts are racially gerrymandered and limit Black voters influence in all but one congressional district. Simelton and others feel two districts would more accurately reflect and represent the African American population in the state

“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,” Jataune Bobsy with the ACLU, said.

The goal of redistricting is to make sure each district has roughly the same amount of people. Simelton and others say they’ll be watching closely to see if that happens.

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