JACKSON The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the Mississippi's legislative redistricting plans.
The DOJ has to sign off on any voting law changes because of Mississippi's history of black voter disenfranchisement. Some states have run into obstacles in remapping their voting districts. In Texas, a redistricting dispute delayed the state's 2012 primary for months. African American and Latino voters accused the Republican-controlled Texas legislature of presenting a reapportionment plan that diluted minority voters, who traditionally support Democrats.
The Senate plan bumped up the number of majority-black districts from 12 to 15 and added a district in DeSoto County, where population has exploded in the past decade.
Senate President and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves applauded the DOJ in a statement, saying: “I am pleased the U.S. Department of Justice approved the new district lines for the Mississippi Senate,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “The plan drawn by our redistricting committee received overwhelming bipartisan support from the Senate because it was fair and representative of the entire state.