Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alaska Redistricting - House Winners and Losers

The first post on redistricting is here.

The ideal size for an Alaska House District, according to the Census data, is 17,755  (the 2010 state population divided by 40 districts.)

The Biggest Losers - districts significantly below the 17,755 mark.

District 5 - Southeast District that includes Haines and wanders south to the Canadian border, surrounding Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4, currently held by Rep. Bill Thomas Jr., has the lowest population - 13,846 - 22% below the ideal size of 17,755.

District 6 - the large interior district north of Fairbanks held by new Rep. Alan Dick is 19% below the ideal size of 17,755 at 14,235.

District 1 - Ketchikan seat held by Rep. Kyle Johansen is 19% below the ideal at 14,333.

District 36 -Kodiak seat held by Rep. Alan Austermann is below by 17% at 14,570.

District 2 - Petersberg seat held by Rep. Peggy Wilson is below by 17% at 14,651.

District 12   - the large seat that stretches from around Chickaloon to Valdez held by new Rep. Eric Feige is 16% below the target at  14,811.

The Biggest Winners - districts significantly above the 17,755 target.

District 15 - Wasilla seat held by Rep. Mark Neuman is  46% above the ideal at 25,974.

District 14 - another Wasilla seat, this one held by Rep. Wes Keller is 33% above at 23,682.

District 13 - neighboring Palmer seat held by Rep. Carl Gatto is 32% above at 23,507.

District 11 -  Fairbanks seat held by Rep. Tammie Wilson is  22% above at  21,692,

District 16 - Chugiak seat held by Rep. Bill Stoltz is above the target of 17,755 by 21% at 21,559.

District 7 -Fairbanks seat held by new Rep. Bob Miller 18% above the ideal at 20,982.

Closest to 17,755

District  31    - Rep. Bob Lynn's seat is 11 (.06%) people below the ideal size at 17,744.

Here's a table I put together combining the Census data that came out yesterday and information on the seats themselves. 
Redistricting House

To accommodate the need for more districts in areas where the population has grown, some districts where the population has declined will have to split up.   I would expect the Redistricting Board to try to change the borders of districts so that some Democratic legislators are no longer in their old districts.  In some cases they may redraw the lines so that two existing legislators are now in the same district and would have to compete against each other in the next election.

We'll see where this goes.  I haven't seen any data for the Senate yet.

UPDATE 9:20am:  Here's a map showing the larger districts. You can enlarge it using the magnifying glass in the bottom frame.

Alaska Leg Districts Map

1 comment:

  1. The biggest problem is that our Legislature is too small to allow either real representation of small communities or allow small urban districts where candidates can campaign in person rather than on television and radio.

    Adding two more members to the House, as we have voted to do, won't solve the problem. We would have a much more representative Legislature if we had a 99 member House and a 49 member Senate --- I'm suggesting odd numbers in both houses to prevent deadlocks on electing the House Speaker and Senate President, as has happened quite a few times since statehood.

    Those larger numbers would allow districts similar to those we had in the 70s, like Wrangell-Petersburg-Kake, Haines-Skagway-Hoonah-Gustavus, Lower Yukon, Upper Yukon, Glenallen-Valdez-Cordova. It just doesn't make sense that a Tlingit Senator from Angoon represents all the villages in SE Alaska as well as Yup'ik and Athabascan villages along the Yukon.


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