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Slow growth of major metropolitan, rural counties in Alabama will lead to changes to the legislative map
Alabama received the good news that because of its population growth and other states’ decrease it will keep its seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The districts will get drawn this year by the state legislature, but the district lines should not change dramatically. However, the boundaries for the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate will probably see some real changes because of population shifts around the state.
Two counties have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, with Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast having the largest increase. Limestone County in North Alabama also had significant population growth and has been the fastest-growing since 2019.
Larger counties like Jefferson, Montgomery, and Mobile, and those in rural Alabama risk losing representation in the Legislature to some of the other counties in the state that are attracting new residents from in and out of state. Thus, when state representatives and senators begin the process of how to reapportion the new legislative seats there will be a contentious debate on where to move seats to adjust for the changes in population around the state.
New seats being drawn in the fastest growing areas of the state that are more conservative could also mean more seats for the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery, as well.
Lawmakers will be drawing new maps this fall, and we will find out what the lines will be soon enough for the 2022 elections.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.