Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Democratic Challenge To The Redistricting Board's July 2013 Plan

Here's the Democratic Party's suit against the Alaska Redistricting Board.  It identifies the locations the plaintiffs feel are problematic:  Fairbanks, Kenai, Matsu, and some rural areas.  (The complete document is at the bottom.)

  • For Matsu and Kenai, they are arguing that both boroughs have enough for five and three (respectively)  districts wholly within the each of those boroughs, but that the Redistricting Board unnecessarily broke the boroughs and added population from outside the boroughs.  In Matsu's case in districts 9 and 12 and that this fails to give proportional  representation of the voters. 
  • It complains that House Districts 6, 37, 39, and 40 are not socio-economically integrated.
    • In HD 37 they argue Anvik, Grayling, Holy Cross, McGrath, Nikolai, Shageluk, and Takotna are not socio-economically integrated with the rest of the district.
    • In HD 39 they argue that Galena, Huslia, Kaltag,Koyuku, Nulato, and Ruby are not socio-economically integrated with the rest of the district.
    • In HD 40  they argue that Alatna, Allakaket, Bettles, Evansville, and Huslia are not socio-economically integrated with the rest of the district.
    • HD 6, they argue, is comprised of two distinct regions that are not socio-economically integrated. 

[Socio-economic integration is one of the Alaska constitutional requirements for the districts.  And yes, it's a vague term.]

  • Further in Fairbanks, they argue that HD 3 and HD 5 are not compact (another constitutional requirement of districts.)

They ask the Court to set aside this third Plan and appoint a master  or masters to recommend a final plan.   And to be awarded costs and attorney fees.

The official plaintiffs are the Alaska Democratic Party, Wasilla resident and the secretary to the Alaska constitutional convention Katie Hurley, and Chickaloon resident Warren Keogh.  Keogh the Matsu Borough Assembly member who challenged the Mayor for speaking for the Assembly when he told the Redistricting Board that the Borough supported their plan to break Matsu boundaries twice in the new districts.  

This document is simply a list of the charges and presumably it will be followed up with detailed backup.  I'm sure the Board will argue that while Fairbanks, Matsu, and Kenai, did have enough seats for their own districts, that there were adjoining areas that needed population and it made sense to take it the way they did.  Stand by.  This may not be over yet.  About 15 months until the November 2014 election.

1 comment:

  1. HD 37 - the entire house district probably is not socio-economically integrated, but to arrive at an group population close to 17,755, you have to pull people together. It's at least compact & contiguous (albeit spanning over 1000 air miles) For HD 37 I think its as good as can get.


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