The Arkansas Board of Apportionment will hold eight public meetings on legislative redistricting throughout the state over the next several weeks.
The board -- comprised of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state -- is set to redraw the district boundaries of the 35 state Senate and 100 state House of Representatives seats later this year, based on the 2020 U.S. Census.
The panel's redistricting coordinator, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Betty Dickey, said Monday that the redistricting hearings will be open for questions, concerns and suggestions from local community members.
There will be maps based on the Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey, which covers predictions for changes in county populations, Dickey said.
Experts from the three offices making up the board, all of which are held by Republicans, will attend.
Comment forms will be provided at each meeting. An online version is available at arkansasredistricting.org/public-comments/public-comment.
The hearings will be live streamed at myarkansaspbs.org/arcan/home.
In a news release Monday, Dickey said the board's goals in redistricting are: "creating districts that are substantially equal in population, geographically contiguous and compact; preserving cores of existing districts and communities of interest; recognizing geographic boundaries; and ensuring redistricting is not based on racial gerrymandering or political partisanship."
All eight meetings will take place 6:30 to 8 p.m. The dates and locations are:
• July 29 at University of Arkansas at Monticello Fine Arts Center, 371 University Drive, Monticello.
• Aug. 3 at Vada Sheid Community Development Center at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, 1600 S. College St., Mountain Home.
• Aug. 5 at Walmart Auditorium Shewmaker Center for Workforce Technologies, 1000 S.E. Eagle Way, Bentonville.
• Aug. 10 at University of Arkansas-Hope Hempstead Hall, 2500 S. Main St., Hope.
• Aug. 12 at Phillips County Community College Fine Arts Center (Community Room), 1000 Campus Road, Helena-West Helena.
• Aug. 17 at Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center (Reynolds Room), 800 N. 50th St., Fort Smith.
• Aug. 19 at Embassy Suites by Hilton Jonesboro Red Wolf Convention Center at Arkansas State University, 23 Red Wolf Blvd., Jonesboro.
• Aug. 24 at Jack Stephens Center, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock