One of the state’s constitutional officers tasked with redrawing Arkansas House and Senate districts has announced her picks to help with the task.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Tuesday former state Republican Party chair Doyle Webb will lead the effort, alongside former Republican state lawmakers Andy Davis and Doug House.
Speaking with reporters at the state Capitol, Rutledge refuted allegations that her team’s conservative makeup could lead to gerrymandering.
"Absolutely not. It would be illegal for the boundaries to be partisan, and we are absolutely not going to draw partisan lines. That’s why I stated at the onset that this is going to be fair lines drawn based on the populations," Rutledge said.
The Democratic Party of Arkansas responded to Rutledge’s appointments on Twitter, calling her picks an "overtly political group" and a threat to future representation for Arkansas citizens.
Webb, who stepped down last month after leading the state GOP for 12 years, said the team’s approach to redistricting will be "citizen-oriented."
"We’ll look to keep communities of interest together, we’ll look to making districts contiguous and compact districts, and we’ll work to have a continuity of representation once again focusing on the citizens that they know who their elected representatives and senators are," Webb said.
Webb said the team will begin the process as soon as final data is received from the 2020 Census.
Redrawing of state House and Senate districts occurs every ten years and is decided by the Arkansas Board of Apportionment, which is made up of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general. Redistricting for U.S. House districts is done by the state legislature.