The Alabama House of Representatives has finally approved new legislative districts for the state – after house Democrats delayed a vote by having the bill read aloud for sixteen hours.
Representatives approved the districts yesterday on a 70-30, strictly party-line vote.
Back in January, federal judges ordered the GOP-controlled Legislature to redraw lines before next year’s election after ruling some districts were gerrymandered by race.
Democrats say the plan is intended to entrench GOP dominance by packing minority voters into certain districts and unnecessarily splitting counties in order to create whiter and more conservative neighboring districts.
Democrats delayed a vote by having the entire 539-page bill read aloud. The process took 16 hours. Republicans say the new plan corrects problems identified by the judges and predict the map will be approved by the court. Democrats believe this bill will ultimately land lawmakers back where they started -- before federal judges.
The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.