Lawmakers request special session on redistricting

JACKSON – State Rep. Tommy Reynolds, chairman of the House of Representatives Apportionment and Elections Committee, is calling on Gov. Haley Barbour to call a special session to finalize redistricting plans that use the recent census data.

Reynolds, a Democrat from Water Valley, joined Sen. Terry C. Burton in asking that Barbour call a brief special session for both chambers to vote on redistricting plans.

There was no immediate comment from Barbour’s office.

Earlier this week, a three-judge panel overseeing the redistricting case ruled that elections this year must be held in the current districts, which were drawn in 2002 using the 2000 census data.

As a result, said Reynolds, “We will be running this year in districts that are malapportioned based on population.”

“We have voted three times in the House and passed a plan each time. Calling a special session would allow the Legislature to complete the task rather than forcing the courts to solve this for us. The courts desires us to do our part. This would give us an opportunity to perform our constitutional duty,” said Reynolds.

The case ended up in the court because legislators were unable to agree during the regular session on redistricting lines for both chambers.

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NEMS Daily Journal