For 120-something years, the Democratic legislature did what was responsible when it came to redistricting: they let the Courts draw the maps. It was the Courts that maintained the quality delegation system and equal representation that we have had for over 100 years.
After two years on the job, the Republican controlled legislature thinks that they can handle the task themselves. They have dropped the ball.
The Republican plan has stacked majority-minority districts in unheard-of percentages. The Republican plan has obliterated any form of delegation-system. When a county goes from being represented by 3 House members and 1 senator to 4 or 5 House members and 2 or 3 senators, it is nearly impossible for constituents and local officials to maintain any sort of sensible relationship with their “delegation.” Most of these new districts have a major portion in one county and a tiny finger in one or two more, which means that citizens and officials that reside in those “finger” portions can forget about every hearing from or seeing their “representative.”
Citizens of Alabama, it is in your best interests to demand that the Courts control redistricting and not the Republican supermajority you elected in 2010. Tell them to shake the Etch-A-Sketch that they’ve become so accustomed to and let someone who knows what they’re doing handle the job. After all, they’re only freshmen.
— Brett A. Johnson, Jacksonville