Public hearing held for legislative redistricting in Arkansas

Several Northeast Arkansas community members came out Thursday for a public hearing regarding...
Several Northeast Arkansas community members came out Thursday for a public hearing regarding redrawing the legislative district lines.((Source: KAIT))
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 9:50 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Several Northeast Arkansas residents came out for a public hearing Thursday regarding redrawing the legislative district lines.

The meeting was one of eight to be held by the Arkansas Board of Apportionment.

Redistricting happens every 10 years with U.S. Census numbers and is done to make sure there is equal representation for each district, based on population.

In the 2022 election, all 135 members of the state legislature - 100 members of the House and 35 members of the Senate - will be on the ballot. Officials said a typical state House district should have around 30,000 people, while a state Senate district should have around 86,000 people.

State Geographic information officer Shelby Johnson said while the state’s population has grown some, it’s also shifted.

With more rural populations seeing a decline, and urban areas seeing more growth.

“What this means is the Board of Apportionment needs to design districts that account for that shift and account for that growth. So our rural districts may become larger and our urban districts may become smaller,” said Johnson.

In Northeast Arkansas, data so far shows that only Craighead, Greene, Independence, Sharp, and Randolph counties saw population growth.

All other counties in Northeast Arkansas lost population.

Coordinator for Redistricting for the Board of Apportionment Betty Dickey said the board hopes to have the new district maps by October.

If you missed the meeting and want to leave a comment on the redistricting process, visit the Board of Apportionment website here.

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