LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas lawmakers have given initial approval to a new congressional map that splits up the state's most populous county into three U.S. House districts.
The House and Senate on Wednesday approved identical versions of the redistricting proposal.
Final votes are expected on the proposal in both chambers Thursday.
The plan splits up portions of Pulaski County among the 1st, 2nd and 4th congressional districts.
Pulaski County, which includes the Little Rock area, is currently in the 2nd District.
The move has drawn complaints that it will dilute the influence of minority voters in the Little Rock area.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott released the following statement on the redistricting plan that would split the city into two different districts:
“I am deeply concerned about the gerrymandering along racial lines happening in our community, which was designed to dilute the voices of the residents of Little Rock.
This plan sent to the Governor today for his signature separates the communities south of I-30 from the rest of the city, and those neighborhoods are predominantly Black and Hispanic.
It is essential that we respect communities of interest in districting, and there is no more fundamental community of interest than a city like Little Rock. Additionally, it is illogical to split Arkansas’ capital city into two congressional districts.
I am hopeful our state’s judicial system will correct this flawed attempt at redrawing the boundaries."