By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press
JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate on Wednesday adopted its own redistricting plan that includes more majority-black districts and fewer split precincts statewide.
Legislative maps have to be updated each decade to balance the population in the districts.
The redistricting chairman, Republican Sen. Merle Flowers of Southaven, says he believes the plan is fair and will be approved by the U.S. Justice Department. Mississippi election changes must be cleared by Justice because of the state’s history of racial discrimination.
The plan creates a new district in fast-growing and largely Republican DeSoto County. To stay at 52 seats, it puts two white Democrats, Bill Stone of Ashland and Nickey Browning of Pontotoc, into one district.
The 122-member House approved its own redistricting plan last week.
The two chambers must approve each other’s maps.