The Board of Apportionment, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General, was created in 1936 by Amendment 23 to the Arkansas Constitution. Over the next few months, the Board will be redrawing 100 House & 35 Senate Districts so that each district meets various legal criteria, including each district being about the same size in population. This "redistricting" is required by law once every 10 years after the Federal Census. You can see our timeline by going to the events calendar page. The Board of Apportionment only “redistricts” the Arkansas House & Senate (Legislative Seats), not Congressional Seats – that is the responsibility of the Arkansas General Assembly.
The official 2010 population total for Arkansas from the U.S. Census Bureau was 2,915,918 people. 2,915,918 divided by 100 Arkansas House Districts means that, ideally, each House district will contain 29,159 people. Likewise, 2,915,918 divided by 35 Arkansas Senate Districts means that, ideally, each Senate District will contain 83,312 people.
The census data demonstrated that some areas of the state gained in population density while other areas declined in population density – relative to other parts of the state. As a result, districts that gained population density will likely shrink their geographic boundaries while those that declined in population density will likely expand their geographic boundaries. This is because each district is required by law to contain the same number of people – within the constitutional variance – as all of the other districts.
Article 8 of the Arkansas Constitution requires the Arkansas Board of Apportionment to re-draw these district boundary lines for the Arkansas House and Senate. The Board and their staff take the information from the Census data, review the maps of the State of Arkansas, and use the latest population figures to re-draw the boundary lines for 100 House and 35 Senate Districts. Beginning in April of 2011, the staff members are reviewing the new data, gathering public comment, conducting public hearings, and drafting new boundaries for the House & Senate Districts. Ultimately, a final map with new district boundaries for both the House & Senate will be adopted by the Board of Apportionment and filed with the Secretary of State. The target date to adopt and file final maps is August 1st, 2011. By law, the final maps become effective 30 days after they are filed with the Secretary of State.
The purpose of the public meetings is to receive input, pro & con, from the public on any map or any redistricting issue. A certified court reporter attends every meeting and the transcript is posted on this website for further review. In addition, staff members from each office attend and report back to their constitutional officer. Of course, public comment can be made directly to the Board by sending a letter or email - these written comments are also posted on the website.