With help from our grassroots partners, we organized a statewide redistricting program. Our program prioritizes public education, outreach, and organizing across Alabama to advocate for fair and equal representation for all Alabamians.
YOUR VOTE MATTERS!
The invisible line dividing two of Alabama’s congressional districts slices through Montgomery, near iconic sites from the civil rights movement as well as ones more personal to Evan Milligan.
There’s the house where his grandfather loaded people into his station wagon and drove them to their jobs during the Montgomery Bus Boycott as Black residents spurned city buses to protest segregation. It’s the same home where his mother lived as a child, just yards from a whites-only park and zoo she was not allowed to enter.
The spot downtown where Rosa Parks was arrested, igniting the boycott, sits on one side of the dividing line while the church pastored by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the protests, sits on the other.
The lines are at the center of a high-stakes redistricting case bearing Milligan’s name that will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, setting up a new test of the Voting Rights Act and the role of race in drawing congressional boundaries.
Kim Chandler, Mark Sherman, Gary Fields | October 3, 2022
On November 4, 2021, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a new congressional map with redrawn boundaries for the state’s seven districts. The map included just one majority-Black district, just as it has since 1992, even though Black citizens now comprise over 27% of the state’s population.
In the United States Supreme Court case Allen v. Milligan, opponents of the state’s congressional redistricting map argued it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it dilutes the voting power of the state’s Black population. They contend the map limits Black voters’ ability to elect their preferred candidates to just one district by carving up the Black population in surrounding districts to ensure their preferences are drowned out by the white majority.
Abha Khanna, a guest lecturer in Professor Lisa Manheim’s Election Law class and partner at Elias Law Group in Seattle, represented the respondents in Allen and argued the case before the Court on October 4, 2022. When the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Khanna’s clients on June 8, 2023, many considered the ruling a watershed moment for voting rights proponents throughout the country.
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a case examining whether South Carolina’s congressional map discriminates against Black voters, the latest high-profile elections law challenge the Roberts court is wading in to.
The case — Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP — sees Republican lawmakers in the state challenging a lower court decision, which found that the state’s 1st Congressional District was an unlawful racial gerrymander.
The district, which is located in the southeastern part of the state and has historically included Charleston, recently was a rare competitive congressional district in South Carolina. Once solidly Republican, the district flipped to Democrats in an upset in 2018, before the GOP reclaimed it two years later when voters elected Republican Nancy Mace.
Then, during the mapmaking process following the 2020 census, the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew the district’s lines to make it more solidly Republican. A lower court ruled that Republicans in the state did so by moving a sizable number of Black voters from Charleston County over to the state’s 6th Congressional District, which is represented by Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, one of the most senior Black members of Congress.
That move created “a stark racial gerrymander of Charleston County,” a three-judge panel ruled earlier this year. “The Court finds that race was the predominant motivating factor in the General Assembly’s design of Congressional District No. 1,” the judges wrote. “State legislators are free to consider a broad array of factors in the design of a legislative district, including partisanship, but they may not use race as a predominant factor and may not use partisanship as a proxy for race.”
The U.S. Supreme Court dropped a major voting rights win. In Allen v. Milligan, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a majority opinion striking down Alabama’s congressional map for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In doing so, the Court affirmed the current application of Section 2, a portion of the landmark law that bans voting rules or electoral schemes that dilute the voting strength of minority voters.
Alabama was ordered by a federal court to redraw their congressional maps to ensure that there were two majority-Black districts.
That didn’t happen. Instead, they’re going back to the same federal court after the Supreme Court weighed in, this time to argue that their attempts at coming up with a new map are good enough.
This is a concern because local maps have a direct impact on community resources for the next decade. When elected officials don’t allow public input on these maps, they keep residents from advocating for the needs of their community.
Once every 10 years, Alabamians have a unique opportunity to determine the future of our state through redistricting. Our districts determine how we will be represented; and how funds for schools, hospitals, and other essential services will be allocated to our communities.
Redistricting is happening right now. It is crucial our voices are heard and respected by legislators in the map-drawing process. Join us now and contact your state legislator’s to demand (we’ve made it easy) fair and equitable maps.
The Alabama state legislature has passed Alabama’s Congressional, State House, Senate and State Board of Education district maps.
These maps passed by the majority party mirror previous district maps that have long been criticized by civil rights leaders, legal experts, and the Congressional map deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court based on race.
The state legislature was presented alternate maps that more fairly represent Alabama as a whole. The majority party had a clear choice to support fair maps, championed by many who spoke out in the public and Committee hearings, and did not.
Although the district maps have been approved by the state legislature, our fight is not over. Alabamians deserve fair representation. Join us by contacting your legislator to express your disappointment in the redistricting process and the maps the legislature approved.
Gerrymandering is one of elected officials’ most effective tools in silencing our voice. Gerrymandering is the intentional manipulation of the map-drawing process by elected officials who seek to maintain or unfairly change the direction of political power.
When maps are drawn to benefit elected officials or for partisan gain alone, many communities lose critical resources such as funding for schools, healthcare, and public safety initiatives.
Join us by contacting your legislator to demand that legislators prioritize everyday Alabamians instead of elected officials by drawing FAIR maps, reflective of Alabama as a whole. We made it easy, send your letter in just a few clicks!
Join us now to demand that legislators:
Draw fair and equitable maps that are truly representative of Alabama, and hold public hearings after the committee’s maps have been made available. These hearings should be held outside of workdays and working hours to ensure the broadest public participation.
Public comments are critical to the redistricting process as the legislature is required to take public input into consideration when drawing the district lines. You can submit public comments to the Reapportionment Committee through October 27. Use your voice and submit public comments today!
There’s also still time to submit written comments and people-drawn maps until the first day of the special session (October 28th). For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can make sure Alabama’s legislative and Congressional maps are the most inclusive and representative in history.
Our organization has drafted a sample letter you can print to mail to your legislator(s) of choice. When you download it, make sure to include necessary information, such as your name and address, to get the best chance of response.
Once you download the letter and print it, find your legislator(s) and mail your letter!
Prisons are disproportionately built in rural areas, but a majority of incarcerated people call urban areas home. Counting prisoners in the incorrect place results in a systematic transfer of population and political influence from urban to rural areas.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023
HOUSE DISTRICT 55 SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023
HOUSE DISTRICT 16 SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION
Our tools page has access to several great resources to aid and assist Alabamians who are interested in learning more or becoming involved in the community line-drawing process, including map drawing software, informative videos, information on trainings, and more