Redistricting process by Alabama Legislature just weeks away

Published 6:34 pm Thursday, July 29, 2021

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By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

We are now less than a month away from the state getting the data so the process can begin to reapportion the districts for the Alabama Legislature and School Board.

Lawmakers will also rework the seven United States Congressional Districts this year for the upcoming 2022 elections.

While the 2020 census results show growth in Alabama has been slow as compared to neighboring states like Georgia and Florida, there has been a lot of movement to some parts of the state.

Baldwin, Limestone and Shelby counties have seen population booms in the past decade.

And that could mean you will see legislative seats move from some rural and urban areas in Alabama that have seen folks move out to these three counties.

The Alabama Legislature’s Joint Reapportionment Committee also faces a number of challenges. First, this is the latest the committee has gotten this data, which the census bureau attributes to the pandemic and must be put in place to prepare ballots for the Spring 2022 Party Primaries. Secondly, Republicans know that Democrats and their allies will want to challenge the maps in court as they did in 2016. Thus, they will have to work quickly but deliberately to make sure the maps can be defended in court.

There will be public hearings around Alabama to hear public input on how the maps could be drawn early in the fall as the plan is for lawmakers to meet in special session in either October or November to approve the final maps.

Thus we will know soon enough what those districts will be this fall.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.