Rankin County Redistricting Controversy

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Rankin County Democrats and at least two white Democratic legislators have sent a federal complaint alleging that Republican leaders purposely diluted black voting strength when redistricting the county.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that the letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice also contends that Rankin County grew enough to get another seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

In the letter, county Democratic Executive Committee chairman Ryan Brown says Rankin County grew by 26,290 residents, more than the target House district size of 24,322 people. He argues that since Rankin has more than 28,000 black residents, it should have a black-majority district.

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, districts in Mississippi must be approved by the federal government to ensure they don't violate minority rights.

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