|click to enlarge considerably|
I've only had time to glance at these two challenges. The focus seems to be
1. The board valued minimizing deviation (from the ideal district size of 17,755) too high, short changing other values such as "socially and economically integrated."
2. Thus they put what is essentially suburban Fairbanks neighborhoods into a district with predominantly Native villages with no running water or sewage systems whose socio-economic interests are vastly different.
There's a lot more listed, but on first glance, that seems to be the crux. I need to go back and review more. (So many posts like that unfortunately.) You can read the complete challenges below.
The complete Petersburg challenge is below.
My understanding is that all three challenges will be lumped together. While I watched the redistricting board at work and listened to some of the public testimony, it was clear that 'socio-economic integration' means different things to different people. If there's a district that links interior, road-system, basically non-Native towns to roadless, Native villages on the Coast, then complaints by Muldoon folks that they aren't 'socio-economically integrated' with Eagle River are unconvincing (though the board managed to unlink them.)
Petersburg's challenge, it would seem, doesn't have a chance if Fairbanks' challenge to District 38 doesn't prevail.
The Fairbanks News Miner reported on the Borough's challenge. [And they have a link to the Borough's court documents.] So did the Anchorage Daily News. They reported the Democrats and Alaskans for Fair Redistricting are NOT filing challenges because they thought they could better spend the money it would take on elections.
The Board itself will meet Monday, July 18, at 10 am in their headquarters. According to board Executive Director Taylor Bickford, there will be some public meeting to announce the challenges to the board's plan and the status of the preclearance* report to be sent to the Justice Department. Then the board will go into executive session to discuss litigation and preclearance strategies.
*Because Alaska has had Voting Rights Act violations in the past, it is one of 16 states that need Department of Justice 'preclearance' before implementing their plan.
The Court Documents
[Scribd has been having problems. The documents are below, but if they don't show up, be patient and try again soon.]
Fairbanks North Star Borough 's Complaint Re Redistricting Board
George Riley v. Alaska Redistricting Board
City of Petersburg Challenge to Redistricting Plan