WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the GOP-controlled Arkansas House and Senate approved a new congressional map for the state’s four congressional districts. In Arkansas, the General Assembly is responsible for congressional redistricting, subject to gubernatorial veto, while a political commission composed of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general draws the state legislative maps. The map now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who is expected to sign it into law.
Heavily Democratic Pulaski County, home to Little Rock, is currently in the 2nd District, which is considered the state’s most competitive district. However, the new map splits Pulaski County among three different districts, which Democrats say dilutes the influence of minority voters. “It is prejudiced, it is hyper-partisan and it is petty,” said Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D), while supporters of the split argued that it made sense given the county’s central location in the state.