Arkansas Board Of



Redistricting Criteria and Goals

  1. One person, one vote: balancing of each of the legislative districts every ten years, after the Federal Census, so that they are “substantially equal” (generally +/-5% deviation):
    100 House (about 30,000)
    35 Senate (about 86,000)
    +/-5% deviation is considered an acceptable margin.  However, any violations of the below-mentioned goals and criteria would render the deviation impermissible.
  2. Section 2 of the VRA of 1965 (as amended) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or language minority.
  3. Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment limits redrawing district boundaries strictly based on race.
  4. Compactness, one of 4 geographic principles, or the “eyeball test,” refers to the shape of a district, round or square.
  5. Contiguous, continuity, (Latin: to have contact with) touching, common border.  No Partial districts that are islands.
  6. The core of existing districts: whole counties, whole cities, whole precincts is the goal.  Minimize splitting political subdivisions.
  7. Communities of interest: commonalities of economical, social, political, cultural, ethnic, or religious interests.
  8. Continuity of representation:  Incumbency, will of the voters.  Try to avoid making incumbents run against each other.
  9. Minimize partisanship: No targeting or giving preferential treatment.  Beware of salamanders, little fingers, or abrupt lines to draw someone in or out of a district.

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