Arkansas lawmakers present congressional redistribution plans that could divide Pulaski Co.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – State lawmakers ultimately got all the census data to redraw Arkansas’ four congressional districts, but lawmakers are proposing several ways to approach the task.

Each Natural State representative in Congress is expected to vote on behalf of a population of 752,881 Arkansans, or as close to that number as possible.

Several state lawmakers submitted their ideas on how to redesign Arkansas’ four congressional districts, and a few of the plans presented on Thursday were to divide Pulaski County into three different districts.

State Senator Bart Hester (R-D1) said his congressional district map approaches things by dividing Arkansas into four different corners.

“What we’re doing here is trying to make it as simple as possible geographically,” Hester explained.

State Senator Alan Clark (R-D13) was not at the meeting Thursday, but the proposed map he submitted for consideration follows similar paths to what the current districts look like, to the with the exception of a few changes to District 4 in the Southwest and District 2 in the Central Region.

“Does it make more sense for District 4 to go from Louisiana to Missouri, or does it make more sense for District 4 to go to southern Pulaski County?” Clark asked.

The two senators’ maps divide Pulaski County into three different congressional districts, and both say that these different areas of the county would match the profiles of the different districts.

“A lot of people are afraid of dividing Pulaski County and I don’t know why,” Clark said. “It seems to make all the sense in the world. I have not once looked at how the distribution of votes by party works. “

Hester also claimed he didn’t factor in those regions voting, instead saying he didn’t think it really mattered.

“No matter how you draw them absent, we’re going to have four Republican congressmen, and no matter how you draw them absent, they were going to say ‘There’s gerrymandering.'” But I don’t believe you can draw a map. it didn’t for Republican congressmen. Hester said.

Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-D46) presented a different map with the counties intact, saying it addresses many concerns from lawmakers about the division of counties.

“You’ve heard my colleagues’ arguments about the cards. You don’t have any of that on this map, ”he told committee members on Thursday.

Murdock says his card doesn’t downplay the Republican majority in Arkansas, but rather “gives a minority a place to finally be represented in Washington DC.”

Lawmakers now have seven options to choose from, although there will likely be more renditions when they meet again to finalize the redistribution plan

“There is going to be a lot more mass found over the next few days,” Hester said. “We’re going to have a lot of debate. We might not come back to change my card a bit.

No votes have been taken on any of the seven Congress cards that have been presented so far. The legislature will return from its vacation to address the redistribution from next Wednesday.


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