Article 8 – Apportionment – Membership in General Assembly – Arkansas Constitution

§ 1.   Board of apportionment created — Powers and duties.

A Board to be known as “The Board of Apportionment,” consisting of the Governor (who shall be Chairman), the Secretary of State and the Attorney General is hereby created and it shall be its imperative duty to make apportionment of representatives in accordance with the provisions hereof; the action of a majority in each instance shall be deemed the action of said board. [As amended by Const. Amends. 23 and 45.]

§ 2.   One hundred members in House of Representatives — Apportionment.

The House of Representatives shall consist of one hundred members and each county existing at the time of any apportionment shall have at least one representative; the remaining members shall be equally distributed (as nearly as practicable) among the more populous counties of the State, in accordance with a ratio to be determined by the population of said counties as shown by the Federal census next preceding any apportionment hereunder. [As amended by Const. Amends. 23 and 45.]

§ 3.   Senatorial districts — Thirty-five members of Senate.

The Senate shall consist of thirty-five members. Senatorial districts shall at all times consist of contiguous territory, and no county shall be divided in the formation of such districts. “The Board of Apportionment” hereby created shall, from time to time, divide the state into convenient senatorial districts in such manner as that the Senate shall be based upon the inhabitants of the state, each senator representing, as nearly as practicable, an equal number thereof; each district shall have at least one senator. [As amended by Const. Amend. 23.]

§ 4.   Duties of Board of Apportionment.

On or before February 1 immediately following each Federal census, said board shall reapportion the State for Representatives, and in each instance said board shall file its report with the Secretary of State, setting forth (a) the basis of population adopted for representatives; (b) the number of representatives assigned to each county; whereupon, after 30 days from such filing date, the apportionment thus made shall become effective unless proceedings for revision be instituted in the Supreme Court within said period. [As amended by Const. Amends. 23 and 45.]

§ 5.   Mandamus to compel Board of Apportionment to act.

Original jurisdiction (to be exercised on application of any citizens and taxpayers) is hereby vested in the Supreme Court of the State (a) to compel (by mandamus or otherwise) the board to perform its duties as here directed and (b) to revise any arbitrary action of or abuse of discretion by the board in making such apportionment; provided any such application for revision shall be filed with said Court within 30 days after the filing of the report of apportionment by said board with the Secretary of State; if revised by the court, a certified copy of its judgment shall be by the clerk thereof forthwith transmitted to the Secretary of State, and thereupon be and become a substitute for the apportionment made by the board. [As amended by Const. Amends. 23 and 45.]

§ 6.   Election of Senators and Representatives.

At the next general election for State and County officers ensuing after any such apportionment, Representatives shall be elected in accordance therewith, Senators shall be elected henceforth according to the apportionment now existing, and their respective terms of office shall begin on January 1 next following. Senators shall be elected for a term of four years at the expiration of their present terms of office. [As amended by Const. Amends. 23 and 45.]

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