What is the difference between a regular session and a special session? 

A regular session is the annual gathering of legislators, the starting date of which is set by the Alabama constitution. A special session is a period when the legislature convenes outside of the normal legislative session in order to complete unfinished tasks for the year. 

Who can call a special session? 

Alabama is one of 14 states where only the Governor can call a special session. 

What is redistricting? 

Redistricting is the process of drawing the lines of districts from which public officials are elected. All states must redraw the lines of their legislative districts every 10 years, when new census data is released, to match the latest population trends. These district lines determine the electoral boundaries for representation in Congress, state legislatures, and in many county and municipal offices.  

Is redistricting the same as reapportionment? 

Reapportionment refers to the assignment of representatives to previously established voting districts, such as when Congress assigns or "apportions" seats in the House of Representatives to the various states following the decennial census. 

 Redistricting is the process of redrawing district lines based on population changes and, in some cases, the loss or gain of a representative after reapportionment. 

What is the difference between redistricting and gerrymandering? 

When redistricting is done fairly, it accurately reflects population changes and racial diversity, and legislators use it to allocate representation in Congress and state legislatures. Gerrymandering is the deliberate manipulation of district lines for political gain. 

Who conducts redistricting in Alabama? 

Alabama is one of many states where district lines are drawn by the state legislature. The AL Legislature established the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment in 1990, to prepare and develop redistricting plans for the state following each decennial census. 

Who serves on the committee? 

In years when the Legislature is not involved in the redistricting process, the Committee is made up of six members: three from the Alabama Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and three from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. 

 The Committee consists of 22 members in each quadrennium when the Legislature is involved in the redistricting process: 1 member of the House of Representatives from each congressional district, 4 at-large members of the House of Representatives, all appointed by the Speaker of the House; 1 member of the Alabama Senate from each congressional district, 4 at-large members of the Senate, all appointed by the Lieut. Governor. 

Upon completion of the redistricting process, the Committee reverts to its permanent six-member constituency. List of committee members can be found here. 

Does the committee involve the general public in their decision-making process? 

While public hearings are not required by Alabama law, the legislative Reapportionment Committee holds them throughout the state. Furthermore, the guidelines of the Committee allowed any citizen or group to present their own map. Redistricting hearing transcripts can be found here. 

Where can I view the proposed maps? 

Proposed maps can be found here

When does the redistricting special begin? 

The session will begin on Thursday, October 28th. 

Where can I sign up for email updates? 

Go to https://action.aclu.org/webform/al-legislative-update-signup, and sign up for the ACLU of Alabama's legislative updates.