Preclearance announced for Chilton County redistricting plan

Published 4:16 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has pre-cleared the 2012 redistricting plans for the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate.

Strange’s office submitted redistricting plans for review to the U.S. Attorney General and to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 requires such review of any change in voting practices in certain states, including Alabama.

Currently in Chilton County, there has been one House and one Senate district since the lines were last drawn after the 2000 census. The districts are reapportioned every 10 years based on new census data. The proposed districts would divide Chilton County into multiple districts.

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to the Alabama attorney general that the U.S. attorney general does not object to Act. No. 2012-602 and Act. No. 2012-603, the legislation that set the new House of Representatives and Senate districts.

The preclearance was based on information received by the Justice Department on Aug. 6 and additional information received through Sept. 25.

U.S. Department of Justice’s action moots the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the redistricting plans for the State House of Representatives and Senate can now be put into effect.

“We are pleased that the Department of Justice has agreed with our position and approved these redistricting plans,” Strange said in a release. “I am proud of my team in the Attorney General’s Constitutional Defense Division for handling this matter so quickly and for achieving a good result.”

Strange also commended former Assistant Attorney General Jack Park and Assistant Attorney General Charles Campbell who provided their expertise and leadership in guiding this through the preclearance process.