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2nd lawsuit filed over Arkansas congressional redistricting

by The Associated Press | March 22, 2022 at 1:35 p.m.
State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, looks over proposed congressional redistricting maps during the Senate session on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, at the state Capitol in Little Rock. More photos at arkansasonline.com/930session/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

A second lawsuit has been filed challenging Arkansas' new U.S. House map for splitting up the Little Rock area among three congressional districts.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court by six residents claims the redistricting plan approved by the majority-Republican Legislature last year dilutes the influence of Black voters by moving 23,000 voters out of the 2nd District in central Arkansas.

The map splits those voters among the state's 1st and 4th congressional districts.

Heavily Democratic Pulaski County, which includes the Little Rock area, is currently in the 2nd District.

The plaintiffs include Democratic Rep. Fred Love, who is Black and whose residence was moved from the 2nd District to the 4th under the plan.

A group of voters filed a lawsuit challenging the redistricting map on similar grounds in federal court earlier this month.

Republicans hold all four of the state's U.S. House seats, both U.S. Senate seats, a majority of both chambers of the Legislature and all statewide partisan offices.

Democrats have tried unsuccessfully in recent years to flip the 2nd District, which Republicans have held since 2011.

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