What’s the problem?
Every 10 years, states redraw the maps that determine which district represents them in the state legislature and Congress. Out-of-state political operatives and lobbyists in Little Rock want to strike backroom deals with Arkansas politicians and draw voting districts so their chosen candidates win. This is unfair and wrong. It makes our politicians less accountable to the citizens and the issues we care about. Voters should choose politicians, not the other way around.
What’s the solution?
Arkansas Voters First is working to put power back into the hands of Arkansas citizens by advocating for a fair and transparent redistricting process overseen by a Citizens’ Redistricting Commission. This model is the gold standard and has proven to limit the influence of lobbyists and entrenched special interests who would otherwise corrupt Arkansas’ redistricting process.
Who’ll serve on the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission?
The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission would be made up of nine Arkansas residents: three Republicans, three Democrats, and three members unaffiliated with either party. No member may be a current or former lobbyist.
Who CAN’T serve on the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission?
Lobbyists would be banned from serving on the Commission, and members wouldn’t be allowed to serve as a lobbyist for three years after their term ends. Current and former lawmakers and party officials, as well as their immediate family members, also wouldn’t be allowed to serve on the Commission.
How will the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission ensure transparency?
All Commission meetings would be open to the public. Then, the Commission’s work product would be posted online for everyone to see, and Arkansans would be able to propose and comment on district maps. Additionally, the Commission would be required to hold a public meeting in each congressional district.
Why is passing this reform so important?
The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission would give the power to Arkansas citizens and stop lobbyists and politicians from drawing oddly-shaped districts that benefit their chosen candidates. With an independent group of citizens drawing our political districts in plain sight, our districts would finally work for our communities — and would be decided transparently by Arkansas citizens, not lobbyists.