Advocacy Groups in AL Call for Fair Congressional Redistricting Maps
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Civic-engagement organizations in Alabama are calling for action against the state's new congressional map, which they say disproportionately impacts Black voters.
The court-appointed cartographer in the Alabama congressional redistricting lawsuit has withdrawn from the case, prompting a court directive for involved parties to propose three to five alternative cartographers.
The Supreme Court has previously instructed legislators to develop congressional maps with a minimum of two majority Black districts or a similar arrangement.
However, Angela Curry - executive director of United Women of Color - said the current proposed map continues to suppress Black voters.
"It's disheartening," said Curry, "but I have to lean into optimism, and hope, and gratefulness even, to the structure of our country that allows the Supreme Court to override a state who is clearly not going to follow what they've been instructed."
The map approved by the Alabama Legislature consists of seven districts, with one district having a majority of Black voters and another district in which about 40% of voters are Black.
Supporters argue that this map provides an opportunity for Black voters to elect leaders of their choice, although critics contend that it does not adequately represent the majority.
Stacker reveals that Black voters make up about 27% of Alabama's population, translating to one in five voters. Curry said this highlights the crucial role of advocacy in promoting voting rights.
As the journey toward voting equality continues, she said many advocates hope for a third party to spearhead the cause and ensure fair representation.
"And just hope that the Supreme Court rapidly comes up with a third party to redraw these maps," said Curry, "to ensure that black Americans in Alabama have that right to select their elector in two districts."
Plaintiffs are required to submit their objections to the federal district court by Friday in regard to the recently passed congressional map, which has received approval from Gov. Kay Ivey.
The ultimate decision now rests with the federal court, with a scheduled hearing set for August 14.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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