Josh Price, Democratic candidate for secretary of state and a former Pulaski County election commissioner, joins the chorus of Democrats objecting to the congressional redistricting plan that split Pulaski County into three congressional districts by removing three majority-Black areas while adding nearly all-white Cleburne County to the 2nd Congressional district.
A lawsuit is likely over the plan if Governor Hutchinson allows it to become law, which is expected.
I’m extremely angry with the congressional redistricting plan passed by the legislature. Their form of gerrymandering is called “cracking” which is used to dilute the votes of certain groups, in this case minorities, so that their voices won’t be heard, and their communities won’t be properly represented.
As a former election commissioner for Pulaski County, and an advisory commitee member for Metroplan (which draws economic development maps and voting precinct maps), I can attest that this split will substantially harm voters in the county, especially our historically underserved and underrepresented communities of color.
Pulaski County is an economic engine, and by chopping it up into three Congressional districts, it damages Arkansas’s economic development efforts by creating more red tape and tangled bureaucracy when working with the federal government and various business entities. Three members of Congress will now have to convene to address issues in Pulaski County instead of one Congressmember being able to represent the entire county’s needs.
Splitting up Arkansas’s most urban and populous county is not only unethical and unconstitutional, but it will also further confuse voters in a state that already has the lowest voter registration and voter turnout in our nation. With this short-sighted map, your friend or family member across town, or in the neighborhood next door, will have a different Congressmember than you.
As a candidate for Secretary of State, Arkansas’s top elections official, I strongly oppose this map to split Pulaski County into three Congressional Districts. All Arkansans deserve to be heard, not have their votes diluted and their voices silenced.