LITTLE ROCK – Despite well-documented reservations and public acknowledgements, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is choosing not to veto new legislation that infringes upon the rights of Arkansans. The governor is instead allowing an illegal redistricting map, predicated on manipulating racial demographics, to become law without his signature.
“The governor’s comments reveal both a lack of faith in the legislation passed and in the Legislature itself. He doesn’t trust his own Republican Party controlled Legislature to receive a veto and then come back with fair maps and laws,” said DPA Chair Grant Tennille.
“The governor knows what we know, that the courts will have to get involved to straighten out this illegal mess, and that the Legislature is failing to be a good faith actor in the redistricting process. The Democratic Party of Arkansas is prepared to fulfill our part in whatever manner is appropriate with all parties involved in the coming legal process to protect Arkansas voters.
“From day one the Democratic Party of Arkansas has been clear that our Congressional maps must be fair and that under no circumstances can we allow lawmakers to blatantly manipulate race as a basis for drawing new district lines. The maps passed in the Legislature are illegal on the surface and those who passed it know it — they were told to their faces multiple times about the impact of their maps, yet chose to ignore them. They won’t be able to ignore the facts in the court of law.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s admission that the redistricting effort is flawed and predicated on premeditated racial divisions, “I am concerned about the impact of the redistricting plan on minority populations,” the governor said during his weekly briefing at the state Capitol. “While the percentage of minority populations for three of the four congressional districts do not differ that much from the current percentages, the removal of minority areas in Pulaski County into two different congressional districts does raise concerns.”
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