Friday, April 06, 2012

A Real Plan, An Interim Plan, Short Deadlines - Overview of Where Redistricting Board Stands

[Note:  This may not look like much, but I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the important points, including the maps and links.  And getting it reasonably short. My eyes are glazing over so let me know if you catch any errors so I can fix them.]

Yesterday the Alaska Redistricting Board formally approved a new Proclamation Plan (I think they call this the Amended Proclamation Plan) and an Interim plan in case the Amended plan doesn't get all the approvals it needs in time for the June 1 candidate filing deadline. Below is my understanding of what they covered yesterday as they went over their timeline of things that need to be done.

  1. There’s a June 1 deadline for candidates for the legislature to file.  A plan must be in place before that so they know which districts they are in.  There is some possibility of pushing the filing deadline, and probably the primary election, back two weeks, but they want to avoid that.  But a new Federal law with deadlines for sending military ballots may prevent that.

  2. It’s April 6 now, so that leaves less than 60 days.

  3. The Board’s new Proclamation Plan has to
    1. get pre clearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ)  to insure it meets the Voting Rights Act requirements AND
    2. go back to the trial court to determine if they followed the court mandated “Hickel Plan” to first draw up a constitutional map and then make the least amount of deviance from the constitutional requirements necessary to also comply with the Voting Rights Act. 
  4. Timing for the DOJ and court clearance is uncertain.  I’m guessing the Alaska courts will do things as quickly as possible (the Supreme Court ruled in one day the first round,) but what about the DOJ?  They have a 60 day turnaround, but have an ‘expedited’ process. The board is unsure they can get it or what exactly it means.

  5. Additionally,
    1. The Division of Elections wants two weeks notice somewhere in the process
    2. Both political parties wanted two weeks for something, not sure what.
  6. Given all the uncertainties, the board has also adopted an Interim Plan.  The Supreme Court offered this option if they can’t get the new Proclamation Plan done in time.  The Interim plan is the basically the same as the original Proclamation Plan with changes to the two districts in Fairbanks that were declared unconstitutional and which the Board did not contest.  (Proclamation Plan districts 1 and 2.)
  7. Attorney White believes the Interim plan, though the Native districts  are essentially the same as in the plan the DOJ already approved, needs pre-clearance because it was drawn up by the board, not the court.  But he thinks it should be easy. And he believes court approval should be easy.
  8. There is still some uncertainty whether they can put forward both plans simultaneously, but they hope to take that path.  If it appears that by around May 15 the new plan will not get approved in time, they will go with the interim plan.   Chair Torgerson said that is not his hope.  He wants the new plan to go into effect.   
That leaves the question of what is the difference between the Interim Plan and the New Proclamation Plan?

Most of the districts are the same in both plans.  Southeast, Anchorage, and Kenai, and Matsu will be the same.  The differences will be in the area that was white in the “Hickel Plan Template.”   The colored in parts should be the same in both plans.
    Hickel Plan
Sorry about the light and shadows on the Hickel Plan Template above. But if you look carefully you can make it out. If you're in Southeast, Anchorage, Matsu, Kenai, and the North Slope, your district shouldn't be different in the Interim Plan and the Amended Proclamation Plan. (There may be some minor changes in Kenai Borough, I think Seldovia moved.)  They were only going to change district boundaries in the white section.

Click on the links below for bigger and better versions of these two maps

 There are some big differences between the Interim Plan and the Amended Proclamation Plan.  The Aleutians are split in the Interim Plan, but aren't in the Amended Plan.  District  They did fix Fairbanks house districts 1 and 2 from the old plan. For people who are interested in the plans in the area that was tinkered with - mostly in House Districts 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 from what I can see - can look at the maps.
The Board promised the individual district maps would be up next week. 

This map below shows the Proclamation Plan Fairbanks lines (in black) superimposed on the Amended Proclamation Plan.   The Interim Plan looks to be pretty close (in Fairbanks) to the Amended Proclamation Plan.  It's hard to match all this because the maps for different plans are in different sizes and my Photoshop was being balky when I was resizing.   And it's still not detailed enough to see actual boundaries.  And I don't really know Fairbanks at all anyway.

[The district to the left of 1A is 4B.  Numbers are from Proclamation Plan. Letters are Senate districts.]

If someone really needs to know,  this can get you started. Here are the links for the various Fairbanks maps on the Redistricting Board website.  Those are high resolution pdf's that you can blow up and still get detail:

And this table might help too.  It gives the numbers of the districts in the various plans.

2002 Plan Old Proc Plan Interim Plan New Proc Plan
HD10 HD 1 HD 3 HD 3
HD 11 HD 2 HD 1 HD 1
HD 7 HD 3 HD 2 HD 2
HD 9 HD 4 HD 4 HD 4

The video shows Board Attorney Michael White going over the time-line with the Board on Thursday.  Board Chair John Torgerson also speaks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.