FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2021
Contact: Elsa Rainey, [email protected], 573-808-4417
LITTLE ROCK - Today, the ACLU of Arkansas sent letters to the three members of the Arkansas Board of Apportionment (Governor Hutchinson, Secretary of State Thurston, and Attorney General Rutledge) to remind them of their legal obligations to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“VRA”) and the U.S. Constitution when considering how to draw the new state legislative maps in the current redistricting process.
Specifically, the ACLU of Arkansas stated that the Board must ensure that new maps:
- Comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965,
- comply with the U.S. Constitution, and
- fairly reflect the power of voters of color.
Gary Sullivan, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arkansas issued the following statement about the request:
“Arkansas has the 13th highest Black population in the country per the 2020 Census—which likely undercounted minority populations. Black Arkansans constitute the largest minority group in the state, totaling 495,968 people or 16.5 percent of residents. Despite these demographic trends, the maps adopted in the past redistricting cycle (which are currently in use) do not properly account for Black voting strength in Arkansas. The BOA must comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as the Constitution when drawing new maps. We will continue to monitor the Board’s work and advocate for a fair and open legislative redistricting process that is representative and responsive to all community input.”