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Proposed legislative maps provide some changes

Arkansas State Capitol (Source: KAIT)
Arkansas State Capitol (Source: KAIT)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The 2022 election season will soon be upon us and when voters head to the polls next year, they will be voting in new legislative districts throughout Northeast Arkansas.

The Arkansas Board of Apportionment voted Friday to approve the proposed state House and state Senate maps for the legislature. The Arkansas House has 100 seats, while the Arkansas Senate has 35 seats.

Redistricting is done every 10 years due to the Census.

Arkansas Board of Apportionment coordinator Betty Dickey told the board Friday that each House district had to have 30,000 people while each Senate district had to have roughly 86,000 people. Officials have also said several areas around the state, including Northeast and Southeast Arkansas, lost population in the last 10 years.

Locally, under the proposed maps, there will be roughly 20 House and nine Senate districts in Region 8.

However, there will be some changes under the proposals.

For instance, House District 2 covers Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp and Fulton counties with the cities of Pocahontas, Hardy, Cherokee Village, Salem and Mammoth Spring in the district.

House District 30 covers Craighead, Greene and Lawrence counties and includes Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and will add Bono into the House district. Also, House District 37 will cover Poinsett, Cross and St. Francis counties and include Wynne, Cherry Valley, and Forrest City and add Marked Tree and Tyronza to the district.

Also, House District 61 stretches from Jackson County south to Arkansas County and covers Amagon to Stuttgart.

In the State Senate, several districts have multiple counties in them.

District 10 stretches from western Craighead County, south to Arkansas County, including Woodruff, Prairie, Monroe, Jackson, Poinsett and Cross counties.

District 22 has six counties to the north - Sharp, Lawrence, Independence, Cleburne, Fulton and Izard counties.

Voters have until Nov. 29 to comment on the proposed maps and the board is scheduled to meet Nov. 29 to approve the maps.

From there, there is a 30-day period for people to legally challenge the maps, ending Dec. 29.

If there is no legal challenge, the map takes effect Dec. 30.

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