State lawmakers have gone home after choosing how to slice the state’s towns and parishes into legislative and congressional election districts. Within a few days, they will hand over the maps to the U.S. Department of Justice and hope they can persuade federal officials the maps meet the anti-discrimination requirements of the Voting Rights Act. Black lawmakers say they intend to challenge the plans, which, they argue, don’t comply with the law and dilute minority-voting strength. House Speaker Jim Tucker and Senate President Joel Chaisson disagree. They say the plans approved by lawmakers in the special session that ended Wednesday follow the federal legal requirements. Federal officials have at least two months to make a decision after the plans are submitted, but legislative leaders hope they’ll hear something sooner.
Today’s poll question: Will dividing the Capital Region among three congressional districts help or hurt the area?