The Arkansas GIS Office provides technical support and plays an advisory role in the redistricting process for multiple levels of government.
The redistricting process requires sophisticated geographic information system (GIS) software and the 2020 Census PL94-171 Block file. No matter the level of redistricting, all levels use the same source data from the Census.
On February 12th, 2021 the U.S. Census Bureau announced it will not deliver the population count data to the states until September 30th. This forced delay places an extraordinary burden on county election officials. The Census Bureau’s new statement is here.
In an effort to mitigate the delay the GIS Office intends to publish the Census Bureau, 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) estimate data via gis.arkansas.gov. At this time we are issuing the following advice to election commissions, cities, counties and school boards:
- 1) Use the 2019 ACS data to estimate the variances in their current districts. For some jurisdictions there may be acceptable levels of population variance, which may not require any change from the current local districts.
- 2) Use the 2019 ACS to plan for district changes where necessary.
- 3) To the maximum degree possible make assignments and plans at the precinct level. Avoid splitting precincts if at all possible.
- 4) Be at the ready for the September delivery of the 2020 data, to analyze their preplanned changes and then adjust as necessary.
Shortly after the PL94-171 Block file is provided to the Governor on September 30th it will be published here.
Following the completion on all levels of redistricting the new election boundaries are aggregated on a statewide basis and published via the gis.arkansas.gov platform.
Redistricted election boundaries include:
- State House and Senate
- County Justice of Peace
- City Wards
- School Districts
Redistricting Documentation Resources:
- Redistricting Specifications for Cities, Counties and School Districts (coming)
- Sample Language for Redistricting Report Adoption (coming)