Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Redistricting Board Adopts "Hickel" Plan 001 (With Fairbanks Maps)

Overview of What Happened

Monday they unveiled a plan template and three "Hickel" plans based on the template.  The template had the proclamation plan (the one sent back by the Court) districts - Southeast, Anchorage, North Slope, Matsu, and Kenai - that were not challenged and that people believe to be constitutional.  The rest of the map - interior, Fairbanks, and Western Alaskan and the Aleutians - was blank.

The three plans they presented - Hickel 001, 002, and 003 - filled in the white section with redrawn districts.  In each case the rural districts had excess population that didn't make up a whole district.  The 'whole' district in Hickel 001 was created by taking population from Fairbanks.  Hickel 002 with similar rural districts, took excess population from Matsu, and Hickel 003, with reconfigured rural districts, took excess population from Anchorage.

Tuesday they added Hickel 004 with rural areas similar to Hickel 003 which took the excess population from Kenai and Anchorage.

Then attorney White evaluated the constitutionality of each of these four plans.
  • Kenai, no.  
  • Anchorage, no.  
  • Matsu, no.  
  • Fairbanks, yes. 

Then the Board approved Hickel 001 (Fairbanks) as their constitutionally compliant plan to be sent to VRA expert Lisa Handley for her to evaluate whether Hickel 001 will be VRA complaint.

They know it will not.  And then they will start making those adjustments.  None of the printed maps was big enough to see the details of the urban areas, though the shape (GIS) files now available (see one of the two March 27 posts)  to people who had the software programs that would enable them to see the maps in detail.  I did take some pictures of the Fairbanks area from the computer before I left.  They are at different levels of detail so people can see how the district maps were drawn.  You can click on the images to enlarge them. 

 They also have a table showing how the house districts are paired to make Senate districts along with the population and deviation numbers for all the districts.  [I don't see it on the Board's website.  A staff member told me to take the odd number and the next even number - 1+2 - to figure out which seats are paired.]

 Staff confirmed that:

  • Goldstream and Ester population were put into the rural district
  • 80% of the City of Fairbanks is contained in two house districts that are paired in a single senate district

 Staff was going to send the shape files to Lisa Handley who was going to make a preliminary review in time for the 10am meeting Wednesday and then follow that up with a formal, written evaluation. 

 Below are my rough notes of the meeting as I took them.  USUAL WARNING:  These are rough notes, not at all verbatim, and you should use them to get a rough idea of the discussion, but don't assume that they are accurate or complete.

I'll try to put my notes for Monday on SCRIBD too for those with insomnia. Rough Notes: Alaska Redistricting Board March 27, 2012 You can make the SCRIBD window full screen for easier reading. It's the icon on the bottom left.

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