HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama is one step closer to finalizing new congressional and legislative district lines. On Monday the Alabama Senate passed the redistricting plan for new state senate and state school board districts while the Alabama House of Representatives passed the plan for congressional and state house districts.
While most Alabamians might not know that every 10 years after the census congressional and legislative district lines are redrawn the districts matter because that determines representation in elected offices. Democrats and Republicans have been at odds over minority representation, but the reapportionment bills are moving forward quickly.
“For reapportionment for it to be as controversial and political of an issue that it is, it looks like its going fairly smoothly,” says Representative Mike Ball (R) District 10.
Reapportionment happens after the census to ensure equal representation.
“Obviously Alabama has seen a lot of growth, we also see population shifts throughout the state, again for my district we grew about 5800 people so my district had to shrink,” says Representative Rex Reynolds (R) District 21.
Debate on the house and senate floors in Montgomery over reapportionment has been focused a lot on the role race plays when drawing the new maps.
“Reapportionment is one of the most political things that happens and right now we are very polarized,” says Rep. Ball.
Ball says they could wrap up reapportionment by Wednesday.
“Their bills should be in our committee tomorrow and our bills should be in their committee tomorrow. And Wednesday would be the third and final reading and I think Wednesday would probably be a long day but its possible for us to be through in five days,” says Ball.
Democrats say the process is being rushed and believe black residents are not properly represented in the proposed district lines.