Lawsuit Claims Delta Senate District Boundaries Discriminate

Chicot Memorial

THE DELTA (Ben Caxton) — A state Senate district in the Delta dilutes black voting power and should be redrawn. That’s the claim in a federal lawsuit filed Monday which asks a judge to order the legislature to reconfigure District 22 before the 2019 state elections, claiming it lacks “real electoral opportunity” for African-Americans. District 22 stretches across six counties from Bolivar to Madison and has a 51 percent black voting-age population. The Senate seat has been held since 2004 by Republican Eugene “Buck” Clarke of Hollandale, who is white and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Clarke has not decided whether to seek re-election next year but says the problem is that the Delta is losing population and changing one legislative district would affect others around it. Mississippi’s voting population is 35 percent black and African-Americans hold 13 seats, or about 25 percent, of the seats in the state Senate.



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