Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama has announced that a special session will be held on July 17 to address the redistricting of congressional maps.
In a statement accompanying the proclamation for the special session, Governor Ivey emphasized the importance of fair and accurate representation for Alabama in Washington.
The original maps, approved by Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature in 2021, included only one majority-black district out of the seven.
“It is critical that Alabama be fairly and accurately represented in Washington,” Ivey said.
“That is why I support the Alabama Legislature readdressing our congressional map in a special session beginning July 17.
“It is of the utmost importance that this special session only address the congressional map and nothing else.
“The task at hand is too urgent and too important.
Governor Ivey stressed that the special session should solely focus on the congressional map and nothing else, as the task at hand is time-sensitive.
The Alabama Legislature has a single opportunity to meet the court deadline before July 21.
This decision comes after a federal three-judge panel set a deadline of July 21 for the maps to be redrawn, including a district with a significant black voter majority, following a Supreme Court ruling on June 8.
The Supreme Court found the previous maps to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act in a 5-4 decision.
The urgency for new maps stems from Alabama’s scheduled primary on March 5, 2024.
States are responsible for redrawing their maps every ten years after the census, a process that typically begins early in the year and can take several months to complete.
The panel’s July 21 deadline aims to ensure that candidates have sufficient time to meet qualifying and certification deadlines for the 2024 election, as reported by the Alabama Political Reporter.
“The action was necessary after a surprise decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the state’s Allen v. Milligan case, which ruled the maps adopted in 2020 were in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” APR reported.