AK Redistricting 2020-2023

Upcoming Meetings

No meetings scheduled.
The maps are finalized.
Leftover work: 
1. possible settlements
on legal reimbursements (they have
settled with Girdwood plaintiffs) and 
2.  Formal closure of Board



on Behalf of the Board in the Matsu Case >
3.The City of Valdez >
4.The City of Skagway >
5.Wilson, Martinez & Silvers >
6.Calista Corporation >

You can see the 2021 Proclamation here.  These are the materials and maps the Board needed to complete by November 10, 2021.

The 2020 Redistricting Board has been set up.  This tab will index the posts I do about this round of redistricting.  An earlier tab chronicled the 2010 Board.  It has posts from March 15, 2011 through the last meeting on December 20, 2013.  I'm hoping this Board won't take so long to get approved maps.  (The Alaska Supreme Court has had to rule on challenges to most previous Redistricting Boards.)  Posts on this Board began on December 28, 2020.  The previous Board got the Census data necessary for this process on March 15, 2011.  This round the Board is expected to get the Census data by mid August, which is earlier than previously predicted.

Some Intro Info
Alaska's official 2020 population is 733,391.  That means each district needs to be as close to 18,335 as possible. More details on April 26 post.

The Five Board Members
(Member Bethany Marcum resigned
 as of March 23, 2023)
Link to brief descriptions of the members

The Board's website is at https://www.akredistrict.org.

Prof Justin Levitt's Alaska Redistricting Page - Levitt is a nationally known researcher on redistricting.  

Index of Posts (most recent post on top)

Monday, June 26, 2023Alaska Redistricting Board Meeting - Board Votes To Have Counsel Negotiate Legal Fee Payment With Girdwood Plaintiffs - notes on the meeting - Board voted unanimously to approve the settlement for $115,000.

Friday, June 23, 2023 -  Alaska Redistricting Board Meets Again Monday June 26 - includes meeting info and agenda.

Thursday, June 22, 2023  - Alaska Redistricting Board Meeting - Board Votes To Have Counsel Negotiate Legal Fee Payment With Girdwood Plaintiffs - Title says what happened. Post also talks about what could happen next.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 -  Redistricting Board Meets Thursday, June 22, At 12:30pm To Discuss Plaintiff Legal Reimbursement - Zoom Link, agenda, and my suggestions to the Board about need to vote on any decisions in the public session, not the ES.  

Friday, June 16, 2023  - Alaska Redistricting Board Done Mapping - Board & Girdwood Plaintiffs Trying To Wrap Things Up  - The 30 day period to challenge the latest map is over, so the Interim Plan used for 2022 elections is the permanent plan.  Key issue left for the Board is dealing with plaintiff requests for attorney fees.  There are lots of details.  I know the Girdwood plaintiffs have requested reimbursement and I believe some of the others have had their requests put on hold.  There are lots of pieces still to finalize, but the basic task is over.  

Sunday, June 11, 2023 - Alaska Redistricting Saga Could End By Thursday  - Wednesday is the deadline for challenges to the Proclamation Plan the Board approved May 15, 2023.  Also left over legal issues.

Monday, May 15, 2023 - Alaska Redistricting Board Approves Making The Interim Redistricting Plan The Permanent Plan 5-0  - As of 5/15, this is a very brief post that includes a copy of the two page draft resolution the Board passed.  I'll add my notes from the meeting in the next day or two.  

Sunday, May 14, 2023  -  Hoping For A Short, Boring Redistricting Board Meeting Monday - Here's Why  - This post outlines the task the Alaska Supreme Court has given the Alaska Redistricting Board.  I explain why I think it will be difficult for the Board to succeed in any other path than to approve the Interim Plan becoming the Permanent Plan.  

Tuesday, May 09, 2023  - The Alaska Redistricting Board Meets Monday May 15 To Decide To Approve Interim Plan As Final Plan - Or Not  - Info on 1)  Next Board Meeting time/location 2) Agenda 3) Decision they have to make  4) Brief discussion about whether Bethany Marcum will be reappointed.  

Tuesday, May 02, 2023  - Tackling Alaska Supreme Court Redistricting Opinion - I outline how I'm going about reviewing the Court's Opinion before trying to write about it here on the blog.  A sort of methodology section.  

Monday, April 24, 2023 - Supreme Court's Redistricting Opinion, Next Steps:  Is Marcum Still On The Board?  - Email from Board Executive Director Peter Torkelson says she resigned March 23, 2023.  Post looks at the options left for the Board.  

Saturday, April 22, 2023 - Alaska Supreme Court Issues Redistricting Opinion - Gives Board 90 Days To Object To Keeping Interim Plan - The Opinion which explains the reasoning behind the Court's earlier Orders to the Alaska Redistricting Board came out yesterday.  There's still lots for me to digest, so in this post I've only offered the final remanding of the Interim Plan to the Board and giving them 90 days to object to keeping that plan.  There's also a link to the full plan and I've put up the outline of the decision.  

Monday, November 7, 2022 - 56% Of the Alaska Redistricting Board Expenditures Were Legal Fees  - A long post that includes a copy of the Board's budget as of July 22, 2022.  This post looks at the legal expenses which make up over half the budget, and about 90% of the legal expenses occur after the first Proclamation Plan.  While that first made me wonder if attorneys might be tempted to give questionable legal advice to increase fees, while writing the post I became convinced that 1) that didn't happen this time and 2) it doesn't ever need to happen because legal challenges are always likely to happen.  A lot more in the post.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - When Will The Alaska Supreme Court Issue Its Full Redistricting Decision - This post looks at the urgency of the full decision in relation to the 2022 and 2024 elections, the Redistricting Board members and staff, and the six months rule for Alaska judges to make their decisions.  With reference to emails from the Redistricting Board Executive Director and the Appellate Court clerk.  Includes two updates which were intended to clarify, though I'm not sure how successful I was.  

Thursday, August 25, 2022The Alaska Redistricting Board's Dramatic Pleas For Military Voters And JBER's 3.5% Voter Turnout - Compare rhetoric of Board majority on how military would lose their voice if paired with downtown in Senate district to the 3.5% voter turnout of JBER district in August 16, 2022 primary election.  

Monday, July 18, 2022 -  AK Redistricting Board: Attorney Fees Decision Deferred Until After Court's Full Redistricting Opinion Comes Out - Brief not that a June 23, 2022 Supreme Court order deferred awarding of attorney fees until final order is issued along with a little explanation and why I think 2022 map is likely to be the final map.  

Wednesday June 1, 2022  - AK Redistricting - What's Next? Court Decisions And . . .?  - Using a table of Anchorage districts and how they've changed from the 2021 Proclamation Plan of 2021 through the April plan and the Interim May 2022 plan and some maps I argue that the most sensible next option would be to simply keep the interim plan through the next decade.  I also report on some questions I posed to the Supreme Court media liaison and her answers.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 AK Redistricting Board Meets And Approves Option 2 Map For 2022 Election As Ordered By Court -   A short  meeting as Board hears attorney's interpretation of the Court's decision today.  They vote 5-0 to approve Option 2 for the 2022 Election.  Stand by for further instructions from the Supreme Court.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 Supreme Court Removes The Stay On Judge Matthews Order To Use Option 2 for 2022 Election - Board Meeting 3pm Today - Supreme Court agrees with Judge Matthews' order to use Option 2 for 2022 Election.  But continues Stay for remand back to Board for final map for rest of decade.  Board is meeting this afternoon, presumably to try to understand the second part of the ruling.  

Sunday, May 22, 2022 -My Guess Is That The Board Majority Torpedoed Their Case In Today's Meeting  -  I explain why I think the Board majority did more damage than good today.  Basically because they confirmed they had secret meetings to make substantive decisions that should have been announced, made publicly, and the decisions needed to be voted on publicly.  And then they voted to continue doing that.  These are clear violations of the state Public Meetings Act and will be evidence to the Supreme Court that the Board continues to meet secretly, out of the public eye and will add to the evidence of partisan gerrymandering.  Also include my rough notes of the meeting.

Friday, May 20, 2022 - McHugh Creek And Potter Marsh Beat Out Computer Screen - This is basically a post of pictures from a short hike and a stop at Potter Marsh.  But I also add some redistricting updates at the bottom -  Board minority member Borromeo filed a letter to the Board yesterday pointing out the Board's complaints about the Remand decision isn't legit because the Board never voted to file it.  Today attorney Scott Kendall filed to say he was representing Borromeo and Bahnke and asked that if they would not be recognized as Board members, then they'd like to be Amicus Curiae.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - AK Redistricting: About that 2002 Eagle River to South Anchorage House District Singer Keeps Talking About - One of the memes the Board has used and their attorney Singer repeats in his brief to the Supreme Court, is that the Supreme Court approved an Eagle River/Hillside house district in 2002.  I go back to that decision and also look at the maps of those districts to point out this is a very misleading assertion. 
I also look at the concept of zero-sum games and Singer's accusations that what the judge has done has simply given the Democrats an extra seat.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - Judge Matthews Affirms Partisan Gerrymandering And Declares Option 2 The Map for 2022 Elections - A couple of key excerpts from the Judge's decision which was posted around midnight Tuesday morning.  Also link to Matt Buxton tweets on the Board's appeal for a stay on the order.  Maps of Option 2 (the one the judge ordered to be used) and 3B (the one the Board had approved.)

Monday, May 16, 2022 -  Alaska Redistricting Board: Waiting For The Judge's Decisions - Thoughts on the case that don't seem to have been addressed, since I need to do something while I await the Judge's decision.  

Thursday, May 12, 2022 - Quick Bit of Feedback On The Court's New Online Viewing System - I had trouble watching today's hearing.  While I can watch Netflix and go to Zoom meetings and had no trouble with watching the Board on line, or even the court via YouTube, the new system doesn't work on my MacBook with my internet connection.  I had to turn the wifi off on my phone and connect via my cellular account. If it's a problem for me in Anchorage, it will be a problem for lots of folks in rural Alaska.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - Expect Fireworks At Thursday's Redistricting Hearing - Matt Buxton has been Tweeting excerpts from the Girdwood Plaintiffs' briefs - citations from the Board majority's emails.  Some just mean and high schoolish and others adding more evidence of the majority's efforts to partisan gerrymander.  Meanwhile I was out walking the beach near Kenai this morning trying to ignore all this until the Thursday, May 12 hearing. 

Monday, May 02, 2022ARB Girdwood Challenge Schedule: - Oral Arguments May 12, Findings By May 16 - Copy of the order from Judge Thomas Matthews and a few comments on technical matters.  

Sunday, May 01, 2022 - Outlining The Argument That The Redistricting Board Majority's Last Map Is Gerrymandering - In this post I outline ways to show that the case for gerrymandering is pretty overwhelming, but attorneys arguing that are going to have to present all the circumstantial evidence leading to that conclusion.  I try to offer a guide to that evidence.  

Saturday, April 30, 2022 - Bullsh*t Is A New Netflix Quiz Show That's Useful To Describe AK Redistricting Board Justifications Of Latest Plan - In this post I compare the contestants in the new Netflix to the Board majority.  In both cases, where the truth alludes them, they resort to Bullsh*t.  We look a bit at how they do that.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 

 - Grrr.  My Computer Couldn't Handle Court's New System - The video kept stalling.  So I direct you to Matt Buxton's Twitter thread on the hearing.

 - Three Girdwood Residents Ask To Intervene In Redistricting Case That Will Be Heard At 3pm Today  - most significantly, I've posted their motion that outlines their case.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2022Here's A Copy Of The East Anchorage Plaintiffs' Motion Challenging The AK Redistricting Board's Amended Plan  - Pretty self explanatory.  I make a couple of fairly obvious comments.  People can read the motion here.

Monday, April 18, 2022 - The AK Redistricting Board Majority's Amateur  Decision Making Process - Plus Marcum and Binkley Reasons For 3B Votes - Using a Harvard Business Review article about bad decision making, I go step by step to show how their decision making was informal  rather than well organized.  Then I give a detailed critique of Marcum and Binkley's reasons for voting 3B.

Sunday, April 17, 2022 - Redistricting Board Decision Day (Wed April 13, 2022) Video  - Here's the video of the volatile Wednesday Redistricting Board meeting.  Watch Simpson, Marcum, Binkley give their reasons for 3B.  Watch Borromeo's impassioned plea to the judge to decide it himself. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022 - Alaska Redistricting Board:A Critical Look at  Budd Simpson's Reasons for Supporting Option 3B - Using my notes from yesterday's meetings I present his arguments as best as I could keep up and then offer some counter points.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - Redistricting Board Votes 3-2 To Adopt Option 3B - There were some fiery words, but the same majority that approved the unconstitutional plan in November approved the Randy Ruedrich drawn map today.  Next the judge has to decide if it made the corrections he asked for.  Includes map of the new Anchorage Senate districts and the truncation and Senate rotation chart.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - How Should The Redistricting Board Weigh The Public Testimony?  -  At the Supreme Court, Board attorney Matt Singer argued that Judge Matthews' ruling would lead to politicization of redistricting.  He argued (incorrectly) that the Judge had said that the Board had to bow to public opinion and that political groups would get their supporters to flood the Board with testimony.  In this post I offer a methodology for evaluating the public testimony the Board has received with the goal of using the testimony to better inform their decision and not as a tally of which plan has the most votes.  

Friday, April 08, 2022 - Redistricting Board Conflict: Expeditiously Or Take Time?  - What happens if the Board doesn't finish in time?  If the Court doesn't accept their fix for Senate seat K? I check with the Division of Elections and the Courts.  Then I look at what happened in 2012 to come up with possible scenarios.  

Thursday, April 07, 2022 - Redistricting - Some History To Consider What Could Happen Next - A look back at the 2011 Redistricting Board's long road to a finally court approved plan.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2022 - Redistricting Board - Ups And Downs - I Try to Sum Things Up And Comment on Loose Ends  - This is getting old.  Board is not working efficiently.  But I offer an overview of what was decided and some of my own observations of other things going on.  

Tuesday, April 05, 2022 - Redistricting Board Meeting April 5, 2022 - Program Notes Of What's Happening And Why - While trying to focus on specifics of todays meeting, I ended up writing an overview of the issues to be resolved, the factions on the Board, what they are fighting over with the maps.  This is basic stuff, but I suspect most people don't quite grasp it if they aren't paying close, continuous attention.  

Monday, April 4, 2022 - Suddenly Getting More Testimony Is Important  - Comments on meeting along with my very rough notes of the meeting.   

Tuesday, March 30, 2022 Redistricting Board Meets Saturday 2pm To Respond to SC Ruling - updates for new time of meeting and includes links and phone numbers.  

Friday, March 25, 2022 - Alaska Supreme Court Ruling On Redistricting In: Eagle River Pairing and Cantwell Cutout Need Fixing - summarizes key points in the eight page ruling along with the ruling itself.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - The Legal Equivalent Of Mansplaining - Using video from the Supreme Court hearing, I look at problems I see with the Board's attorney, Matt Singer.  We look at how he characterizes what trial judge Thomas Matthews said, and what the judge actually said.  There is also video of the Justices questioning him during his presentation.  I also use a definition of mansplaining to show why I think Matt Singer is 'law-spraining'.  

Sunday, March 20, 2022 -  Ways to Make Sense of the Supreme Court Redistricting Hearing - I outline three different ways to view the court hearing.  

Friday, March 18, 2022 -  ARB Chair John Binkley Chats With Me Briefly After Supreme Court Hearing  - after the Supreme Court hearing, Chair Binkley came over to say hi and began talking about how the board had had to take info from around the state and balance things.  I asked him how he knew there was a majority on the Eagle River pairing.  The video is up in this post.

Thursday, March 17, 2022 - Supreme Court Tomorrow At 9am: Partial Preview - A brief look at what's likely to happen in tomorrow's Supreme Court review of Judge Thomas Matthews' Alaska Redistricting Board decision.  There are links to the Documents page and a longer look at the Valdez case.  But this is a quick and dirty review to get something up before tomorrow's hearing.  So consider it as such.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 -  Derelict Blogger Catching Up On Redistricting Case  - While I could try to blame the court's website for not being that easy to find things, it's really my post-trial sloth that's to blame.  This post links to the docket and offers a few key excerpts that direct readers to how and when to watch the Supreme Court Case Friday March 18, 2022. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - Judge Rules for Eagle River and Skagway, Not for Valdez-Mat-Su or Calista - A few screenshots of conclusions from the judge's ruling.  [Meanwhile the Board on 3-2 tallies voted to appeal the decisions today.  I'll try to catch up soon.]

Monday, February 14, 2022 - First Draft Of Suggestions For Next Alaska Redistricting Board  - While we're waiting for the Judge's ruling, I've started a list of suggestions for next round. 

Saturday, February 12, 2022  - AK Redistricting Board: The First Trial Is Over - Way too much to write about, so I don't try to do it all.  Some comments on the East Anchorage presentation and my reactions to Board attorney Matt Singer's performance. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022 - Findings of Facts and Law Are In - Sort Of Like A Map Of All The Plays For The Redistricting Super Bowl  - These came in kind of late.  This is just a brief perusal of the beginning of the Valdez and Board documents and a few comments from me.  

Sunday, February 06, 2022  -  Redistricting : "Socio-Economic Integration" In Hickel v Southeast Conference  - I look at key parts of Hickel v Southeast Conference that deal with socio-economic integration, one of the criteria for a good district.  Looks like Valdez and Skagway attorney Brena wove his cases around what the Court has said on this subject.

Friday, February 04, 2022 - Alaska Redistricting Trial Day 11 - Brena's Redistricting Expert Brace Closes Testimony  - I attempt to highlight the key new points and the overall arguments made against the Board on the Skagway district as well as the Board's defense.  The witness part of the case is over.  

Thursday, February 03, 2022 - Alaska Redistricting Trial Day 10 - Budd Simpson On The Hot Seat - The Board's Juneau member who mapped the Juneau districts testified.  The Skagway attorney Brena developed evidence for his case.  I try to highlight the key points here.  I also added my rough notes for this one.  

Wednesday, February 02, 2022 - Trial Day 9: Skagway Explains Their Close SEI With Downtown Juneau  - Recap of today's proceedings.  It's Skagway Day and they are arguing their ties to downtown Juneau are much stronger than to the Mendenhall Valley who they are paired with in the next legislature.  Also, learned while writing the post, the judge has denied the East Anchorage amended petition, but with a little wiggle room

Tuesday, February 01, 2022 - Board Attorney Singer Still Obstructing, Still Playing Victim  - Brief update on trial and look at how the attorneys are behaving.  

Monday, January 31, 2022 - Day 7 AK Redistricting Trial: Calista Challenging Board's Maps So They Can Control A Senate Seat  - Trial got out early today. They didn't spend much time on the Calista member witnesses.  Most time was with Randy Ruedrich who drew the Calista map.  He stated very bluntly that the map was intended to give Calista the power to elect their own Senator.  

Sunday, January 30, 2022 - Follow Up Making Sense of Redistricting Trial Post - "Socio-Economic Integration" - this post looks at the concept of Socio-Economic Integratin that's been used a lot and to justify or challenge how districts have been put together.  I check out the Hickel Decision in this post which also leads to looking at Alaska Boroughs.  In the end I find the Hickel Decision seems to favor how the Valdez case has argued that they do NOT have socio-economic integration with Valdez.  

Saturday, January 29, 2022 Day 6 AK Redistricting Trial:  Putting The Puzzle Pieces Together - A look at 2 districts (36 and 39) and 2 district clusters (Mat-Su and Fairbanks) and how they seem to be intertwined in the court Mat-Su and Valdez challenges.  Why I think Valdez was the big loser.  [This does not include the other cases - East Anchorage (ER Senate Pairings), Calista, or Skagway.]

Today's topics
  1. While worried about political gerrymandering in Eagle River, we missed the coordinated efforts to put all the Doyon and Ahtna villages into one district.   Not partisan politics, but. . .
  2. Marcum’s new explanation for voting now on the first House map - she was letting the people of the state know that she knew there were problems, and she knew the votes were there to pass it anyway.  
  3. The deviation numbers 
  4. The East Anchorage plaintiffs have a race based argument that they want to add to the record that is opposed by Board’s counsel, presumably about the affect of the ER pairings.
  5. Bahnke pretty much tells us that SEI is in the eye of the beholder
  6. A lot of communication with the public that was not on the record - Bahnke said that, Simpson said that, Torkelson said that, and we had the text message put on the record yesterday from AC to Borromeo and other emails
  7. Drive to Valdez from Cordova?
  8. 4000 pop exchange between Fairbanks and Valdez into 36
  9. Reporting and the relationships you develop with your subjects
  10. Importance of hearing the wishes of Alaska Natives and understanding the cultures and relationships 

Day 4 is over.  In this post I focus on two things:  1) Testimony of Miranda Wright and why she was called as a witness  and 2) The first of the Board member texts were posted - meaning the judge has released at leas some of them.  Tomorrow when other Board members are scheduled, we might find out what other texts there are and what, if anything, the reveal.

Overview of the day's redistricting trial.  Witnesses from Valdez and Redistricting Expert from Outside.  

Monday, January 24, 2022Redistricting Trial Day 2: Some Insights - Trial was tedious.  No blow-by-blow.  Rather I reflect on issues I've been thinking about that were highlighted in today's testimony and questioning.  Things like how the redistricting criteria are used and the need for more clarity on them from the court.  Also on the need for experts to do the maps for the Board.  Technology is past the point where amateurs should do this.  

Sunday, January 23, 2022 - AK Redistricting Board Trial Day 1 - Peeling Back The Layers - This post attempts to use the first day of trial to get at what is really happening - a battle between the plaintiffs trying to get information and the Board trying to block them from information.  

Sunday, January 23, 2022 - What's A Blogger To Do? Mat-Su Case Due Monday, But Haven't Yet Addressed Friday's East Anchorage Case - A quick look at the "counts" the Mat-Su plaintiffs are alleging.  I also take issue with their math.  This case to be heard Monday, January 24, 2022.  Valdez case scheduled for Tuesday. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022  -  Your Crib Sheet For Friday's Opening Day Of The Alaska Redistricting Trial  - An overview of how the five cases have been consolidated and will work over the next two weeks, plus some of the opening arguments of the first case - East Anchorage - that begins Friday, January 21, 2022 at 8:30am.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 -  AK Redistricting Pre-Trial Hearing - Board Strategy Is Clear And Working - run down with some editorial comment on the last pre-trial meeting (barring any last minute issues tomorrow).  Most notable, the judge learned during the hearing that the Supreme Court had put a stay on the sharing of the Board's emails until after it rules.  The judge had denied the stay.  Some comments on the key issues and attorney styles - particularly the Board's attorney. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - Attorney - Client Privilege: Thoughts Sparked By Redistricting Board Law Suit  - More on attorney-client privilege as I look at what others have written to get a sense of the different sides' arguments.  Singer seems to be taking an extreme stand on the issue.

Sunday, January 16, 2022  -  What Are The Limits To Attorney Client Privilege? Debate At AK Redistricting Board Pre-Trial Hearing Today  - A two bullet sense of the positions on Attorney-Client privilege presented and my very rough notes of the three hour meeting.  

Saturday, January 15, 2022 - Redistricting Overload Part 2: More Details On Friday's Pre-Trial Hearing - more discussion of the Friday meeting and my very rough notes of the meeting.

Friday, January 14, 2022  - Redistricting Overload - Hearing Today Raises A Bunch Of Issues And Trove Of Court Filings  - I guess I should call this part one.  It's a quick look at a couple issues raised today and my blogger issues about getting access to the documents that have been filed by the various parties to the case. Includes links and a copy of the Anchorage plaintiffs proposed witness list.  My rough notes are going up by tomorrow I hope.  They meet again Sunday at 1pm. Links in the post.  

Friday, January 07, 2022 - AK Redistricting Court Hearing: 1) Each Case Separate or Group? 2) Faster Transcripts  -  Attorneys met with Judge Matthews to work out issues concerning the trial.  Notes of that meeting.  Decided that each case would be tried separately.  And that the transcripts need to be transcribed expeditiously.  Next hearing Friday January 14, 2022 at 10 or 11 am. 

Monday, January 03, 2022 - Alaska Redistricting: The Valdez Challenge Part 2 - Looking At Valdez' Allegations and Claims  - Reviews 1) the discussion the Board had on Valdez 11/4/21 and 2) the allegations and claims made by Valdez in its lawsuit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - AK Redistricting: The Valdez Challenge Part 1 - #s 5, 4, and 1- How Do You Solve A Problem Like Valdez?  - I raise five ways I could cover this court challenge and I address 3 of them.  Part 2 address the other two.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2021-  AK Redistricting Board Hearing Today: Rough Notes [UPDATED] - my rough notes of the meeting and topics discussed as the five plaintiffs, the Board, one intervenor, and the judge try to work out how they are going to get everything done by Feb. 1.  [On Dec 23, the Supreme Court extended the deadline to Feb. 15.]

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - Old Dog Learning New Tricks - Getting Access To Redistricting Board Court Hearings - Some whining about figuring out how to get into the live coverage.  A link for Wednesday's live coverage.  Some comments on the court challenges ten years ago compared to today's challenges.  

Monday, December 20, 2021Alaska Redistricting Boad - Called In To Superior Court, Connected, But Never Got Through To Hearing - very short post because while I got through and put in the code, no one every opened the line.  So I was listening to hold 'music' for about an hour.
 [ UPDATED with link to Max Buxton's report of the meeting]

Sunday, December 19, 2021Redistricting Prep For Monday Court Scheduling Hearing, Balanced With Some LA Photos - Info on how to connect to the Court hearing plus an overview of the Court Order of Dec. 15.  Oh, and some LA pictures.

Friday, December 17, 2021 - Redistricting Board Clearly Split 3-2 The 3 Republican Appointees Ram Their Agenda Through  - Most of the meeting was in Executive Session, but back on the record the Board approved a Board subcommittee of Republican appointed members Simpson and Binkley on a 3-2 vote over the strenuous objections of Melanie Bahnke and Nicole Borromeo.  Link to the audio of the meeting on the post.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting: Meeting Wednesday Dec 15; Law Suits Due Soon; VRA Language Requirements Alaska  - 
  • Meeting Information including the agenda and list of what is in the Board packet - Minutes of all the old meetings and the Matsu lawsuit.  
  • Mention of Lawsuit deadline Friday, December 10, 2021 (if I counted 30 days right) so all potential suits due in next two days.
  • Tweet that lists the Voting Rights Act requirements for Alaska for ballots in languages in addition to English.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2021- Redistricting: Will The Supreme Court Reject Alaska's Proclamation Because Of Partisan Gerrymandering?  - Takes the line from the Alaska constitution that says appointments to the Redistricting Board should be made without regard to political affiliation and weaves a case for using that to invalidate the most partisan actions of the Board.  

Friday, November 26, 2021 - Redistricting Board Allocation of Terms: "2022, 2024, 2026 ?? Something like that"  (Can't believe I forgot to put this link here.  This post got 400 hits the first day it was up.)  This post looks in detail at the 1) the very sloppy, not even a full sentence motion made to allocate senate terms to alternating election years  2) questions whether all the time the Board was in Executive Session was legally in ES, and 3) suggests that if Board truncation and allocation of terms results in a senate seat having two, two-year terms, they should go back and make adjustments if that's possible.  I show how it is with two senators who got treated that way.  

Sunday, November 21, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board GOP Members Use Allocation To Punish Moderate Republicans  - Using charts showing how the Allocation of Terms resulted in moderate Republicans mostly being required to run in an extra election.  All but one of six Republicans loyal Governor Dunleavy has to run an extra time.  If the Board had started with Seat T instead of Seat A, the outcome would have been reversed.  

Thursday, November 12, 2021 - Redistricting Board Has Posted The Video From Their Final Meeting Where Bahnke and Borromeo Refused To Back Down - See Below  - I embedded the  video of the dramatic November 10, 2021 meeting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021Today's Final Board Meeting.- A Board Divided Signed A Divided Proclamation  - a lot more drama.  Includes some overview of the meeting, a copy of the statement Nicole Borromeo made in opposition to the Senate pairings for Eagle River.  Chair Binkley at first was going to delete the names of the two Alaska Native women who refused to sign the proclamation.  There's also a copy of the signatures and notes the wrote which was then not allowed.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021AK Redistricting Board: Fireworks in The Morning #1 #2 -  Brief overview of highlights and then rough notes of the meeting.  The video of that meeting is now up on the Board's site.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021Redistricting Board - Public Testimony on Senate Pairings - Account of the second to the last day of the Board's initial process.  They will make their proclamation tomorrow.  The Board is divided now 3-2,  two Republican appointed Board members and two members appointed by Independents.  The last day was harder to follow.  There was chicanery, rancor, and a split board.  There are two different posts combined in this one post.  The first was the morning session I watched via Zoom.  The second the afternoon post at the Redistricting Board office.  After tomorrow there will be 30 days for folks to challenge the plan in court.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021Some Reasons Why The 2 Eagle River House Districts Should Be Paired And The East Anchorage/Muldoon Districts Should Be Paired - A list of reasons why the Board shouldn't do what it seems poised to do later today.  

Monday, November 8, 2021 AK Redistricting Board - Fixing Technical Glitches And Senate Pairings Parts #1, #2, #3, and #4 - Account of afternoon session.  I posted 4 different times to the same post as the afternoon went on. They've agreed tentatively to all the Senate pairings except Anchorage about which they are split 3-2.  They went into Executive Session at 5 and will open tomorrow at 9 in more ES.  

Monday, November 8, 2021 Redistricting Board - Public Testimony on Senate Pairings - Got on a bit late, but basically the post follows the testimony about Senate pairings.  Also a bit of comment on the new GOP argument for pairing ER with JBER and NE Anchorage. Board is in Executive Session now and reconvenes at 1pm.  You can Zoom in at 1pm at: https://zoom.us/j/9074062894?pwd=VWxjem42YUloTnBFcTlpVWZVS0wwZz09

Friday, November 5, 2021 - Board Selects A Map After Some Drama And Leaving Goldstream Residents Out Of Fairbanks [Updated with lin to new map] - Overview of key events of afternoon session that I attended, then my very loose transcript of the meeting. A few pictures and map links.

Friday, November 5, 2021AK Redistricting Board - New Maps, Debates, Exec Session, Public Testimony - Overview of key events of morning session that I watched via Zoom, then my very loose transcript of the meeting.

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - Redistricting Board Showing Their Agendas As Decision About Final Map Nears (Completed Now) - Bethany Marcum and Nicole Borromeo had some direct head to head confrontations today over the Anchorage maps.  I tried to urge folks to Zoom into the meeting to see what was going on.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board Meeting - Tying Up Loose Ends Before Hunkering Down To Make Final Maps - Board pretty much followed the schedule I outlined yesterday.  Public hearings, the Executive Session on VRA, a few more items, then they moved to their office in the University Center to work on mapping.  They'll continue that tomorrow and probably Thursday.  You can Zoom in to watch or actually go stop in at the University Center.  The post has more details and some pictures.

Monday, November 1, 2021 Redistricting Board Has "ADOPT FINAL REDISTRICTING MAP" Scheduled For Tues PM Nov 2 - But Probably Not Really. Here's What's Going To Happen - New very packed Tuesday agenda is really agenda for Tuesday through Friday.  I discuss the agenda and timelines after I talked to Board Executive Director Peter Torkelson.  

Saturday, October 27, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board: State Wide Testimony Today Overview And Rough Notes  - A brief overview about today's testimony from around the state and my rough notes of what people said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board: The Political Outcomes Of The Maps - A Different View - In this post I take the political analysis done by Robert Hoekema  of the six maps the Board is showing people around the state and put the information into table form for each proposal so people can see the political outcomes of each map in a different format.  I also comment at the bottom about these outcomes and whether they are just a natural outcome or more likely gerrymandering.  

Friday, October 15, 2021 - Statewide Redistricting Info Session Tonight at 7pm - List of upcoming meetings. Problems getting the subscription emails.  Link to video of Peter Torkelson's overview of the maps presented.  Peter's the Board's executive director and knows a lot about the issues with mappers have faced trying to make the maps.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021 - Green Acres: An Example Of How Redistricting Maps Move A Self Contained Neighborhood Around - How to make sense of six different map proposals each with 40 district maps?  Unless you're doing this full time you don't.  But in this post I propose that people can check out their own neighborhoods on the six maps (plus the current 40 districts from the previous redistricting round.)  And then I do that with my own neighborhood - Green Acres - to see how what my district looks like in the six new maps.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - While There's Chaos At The Assembly Meeting, People Testify Calmly And Respectfully At Redistricting Board - report on the testimony given by members of the public at the Anchorage public hearing of the Redistricting Board, along with photos of most of those testifying.  

Monday, October 4, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board: About The Maps And How To Make Sense Of Them - Good introduction to the maps.  Tries to answer the following questions:
  • How many maps are there?
  • How do you make sense of the maps?
  • If you notice a problem, how do you let the Board know?.
  • But it's still so overwhelming, isn't it?
The answers include information on the 3rd parties that have submitted maps, their role in this process, and links to the groups.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021Redistricting Board Message On Meetings And Testimony - Longish message from the Board about the maps, the current round of public meetings, their format and intention.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2021My Week So Far  - The only Board stuff in this post is the email announcement from the Board that their v3 and v4 maps are up and viewable with link, and the 3rd party maps that were approved will be up soon.

Monday, September 20, 2021Alaska Redistricting Board: Approve All Plans But One For Road Show  -Overview of day's activities.  Public Testimony, Review of 3rd Party and vote to accept all but one.  Review of Board's new v3 and v4 that replace v1 and v2.  My musings about things.  My rough notes of the meeting.  

Sunday, September 19, 2021Redistricting Issues From Friday's Meeting: Gerrymandering,- The Issue Underlying Most People's Concerns - Long post trying to distill the public testimony from Friday Sept. 17, 2021 meeting.  Includes: Overview, Key Issues raised, my comments on those issues, Table of all the testimony, My rough notes of the whole meeting.  

Friday, September 17, 2021Long Day of Public Testimony and Third Party Plans at Redistricting Board - Links to the six presentations of alternative map options by third parties.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 -Third Party Groups Monitoring The Redistricting Process In Alaska -Maps In Today - I post the list of groups that have submitted maps to the Board by today's noon deadline along with a little background on each group.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021Alaska Redistricting Board Appears To Take A Partisan Turn - Tweeter @Alaskarobby posted a series of maps that show various ways around the state that the proposed maps from the Board favor Republicans over Democratic incumbents.  I post some of the maps, but point out I haven't been able to verify them, but I expect they'll prove accurate.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board Meeting - Compactness v Deviation and Other Issues - An overview of some of the conflicts the Board is facing - with maps to help explain.  Very rough transcript of meeting from 10:30am on.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board: Meeting Tues-Fri Agenda and Documents - Testimony, Mapping Challenges -nothing too exciting - the email from the Board and the documents linked - Testimony packet, Challenges PowerPoint, Census data for all the communities of Alaska.

Saturday, September 4, 2021Redistricting Board Update For Next Week's Map Making Sessions - Again, just posting the email from the Board about the meeting along with the agenda for Sept 7-10.

Monday, August 30, 2021Redistricting Board Info On Public Testimony, Mapmaking - email from the Board concerning meetings Sept 7-10, 2021.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board September Schedule AND Link To Public Map Making Software - Outlines and explains September schedule to get work done to meet Alaska Constitutionally required timeline for adopting redistricting plan.  Also offers Board email with link to public map making software that citizens may use to make their own maps.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - Board Gets Interesting Testimony and Works On Mapping Skills - Morning work session on map skills.  Also public testimony raising useful points for the Board.  

Monday, August 23, 2021 - Redistricting Board Meeting Highlights August 23, 2021 - Overview of meeting highlights and my messy notes of the meeting.

Sunday, August 22, 2021 - Redistricting Board Agenda For Monday Meeting - Including Questionable Executive Session On History of Alaska Redistricting Cases - Agenda for meeting and my comments and suggestions.  With lengthy discussion of why I think most if not all of the Executive Session should be public.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board Calculates District  Gains and Losses, Precinct By Precinct - Board's email with link to chart of all the district changes.  Example of District 1 is shown in post.

Saturday, August 7, 2021Alaska Redistricting Board to Get Detailed Census Data August 12  - And a bit more about the publicly available mapping software.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021GAMERS ALERT: Free Online Redistricting Mapping Software Let's You Help Shape Alaska's House And Senate Districts -  The Board announced today  Tuft University's redistricting mapping software was available for Alaskans to use to create maps.  Post has the Board's announcement, the link, and some explanation about the task.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021Redistricting Board Goes To Redistricting Seminar in Salt Lake City Next Week - Post looks at what the National Council of State Legislatures is and the agenda of the three day conference (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday July 14-16).  A brief question about how public meetings law applies to conferences.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2021Will The Real Justin Levitt Please Stand Up  - How I discovered that there are two Justin Levitts who are experts on voting rights and redistricting.  The one who is on the winning proposal for a Voting Rights Act consultant is NOT the one I knew about.

Friday, July 2, 2021 - Want An Inside Look At Alaska's Redistricting? They're Hiring An Administrative Assistant - Board advertises for an administrative assistant.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021Redistricting Board Meets To Learn Mapping Software - Monday was the first time the Board actually met in person.  I've got photos of the board members, the attorneys, and some staff,  from Tuesday's training session.  Also some links about the software they are using. Making maps of equal districts is the key responsibility of the Board.  

Friday, June 25, 2021Went To My First Indoor Meeting - At The Redistricting Board - I met with the Executive Direction Peter Torkelson and Deputy Director TJ Presley.  We talked about the Board's processes and public mapping program and other things Redistricting.  Pictures of the two.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 -  - AK Redistricting Board Chooses U of Pittsburg Law Professor Bruce Adelson To Be Voting Rights Act Consultant To The Board - Post includes the proposals from the three applicants.  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021Redistricting Board Meeting May 26, 2021 - Board Picks VRA Consultant, But All Discussion Of Candidates Was In Executive Session  - Nearly all the meeting was in Executive Session, where they discussed and chose the consultant they want to use.  They voted publicly to choose the anonymous winner and pursue writing a contract.  Also includes my rough notes of the public part of the meeting.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021Redistricting Board Meets Tomorrow (Wednesday) May 26 at 2:30 Mostly Executive Session - Includes minutes, links to documents, call in phone numbers. Main business is interviewing Voting Rights Act (VRA)  Consultant and possibly choosing one.  Brief overview of why VRA consultant is less important than after the 2010 Census.  Links to new Voting Rights Acts presently in Congress.

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board - The Five Board Members - This post offers a brief intro to each of the five members including photos.  

Monday, April 26, 2021Alaska Officially Has 733,391 People - According To The 2020 Census - UPDATED - The Board got the total population figure from the Census Bureau today.  The post explains how this translates into 18,335 people per district.  I also look at how many people applied for the PFD compared to the Census' population number.  

Monday, April 19, 2021AK Redistricting Board Has Short Meeting. - Approve Voting Rights Act RFI With Longer Time Limit - Deadline was set for returning proposals for Voting Rights Act consultant and minutes contractor was introduced.  

Post gives the agenda for the meeting and the RFI for the Voting Rights Act Consultant.   I also discuss the Voting Rights Act, how things have changed since ten years ago, and why there is a need for a consultant.  I've included relevant links as well.  

Monday, March 22, 2021The Law Firms That Sent In Proposals To The Alaska Redistricting Board [Updated]  - This post lists the five law firms that submitted proposals to the Board and includes the five proposals.  I also tried to highlight the specific redistricting experience each firm listed in their proposals. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board Selects Schwabe, Williamson, and Wyatt For Legal Counsel - Overview of Board meeting from Saturday, March 6, 2021.  Selection of Legal Counsel, Protocol for requests from public, Taking public testimony at meetings.  Next meeting Friday March 26, 2:30.  

Monday, March 1, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board Talks About Transparency Then Goes Behind Closed Doors  - In which I discuss how they went into Executive Session last time, the State law concerning Executive Session, and a Supreme Court case that suggests they should have done the interview in public.  

Friday, February 26, 2021Alaska Redistricting Board Goes Into Executive Session To Interview Legal Advisor Applicant  - discussed outreach to public and policy for responding to meeting requests by individuals and groups.  Went into Executive Session without announcing specific reason or whether they needed to.  More on this in next post.  

Monday, February 22, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board To Begin Interviewing Legal Firms To Counsel The Board

Meetings Friday, Feb. 26 and Tuesday March 2, mostly in executive session to choose law firm to advise Board.  

Friday, February 19, 2021 - 2020 Alaska Redistricting Board Debuts Its Website

With image and link to the site.

February 15, 2021 - Alaska Redistricting Board To Get Census Data "By Sept. 30, 2021" Along With All The Other States

This year's Census data will be much later in the year than ten years ago.  

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - AK Redistricting Board: January 26 - Approving Their Own Pay And Per Diem, Public Hearing Notice & Public Records Policies

This was a meeting to approve policies as listed in the title.  There's a summary and my thoughts at the top and a rough transcript of the meeting.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 -  How Much Does It Cost To Eat Out In Anchorage? The Redistricting Board Thinks $6o A Day Isn't Enough

Starting from the Board's belief that you can't eat three meals in Anchorage for $60, I look at some restaurant options and costs.  Then I discuss ethical and budgeting issues tied into questions about Board's setting their own pay and expenses, the role of a public board member, and the idea of public service, their per diem in context of the overall budget, and class differences in terms of deciding on what an acceptable restaurant is.  

Saturday, January 23, 2021 -   Alaska Redistricting Board Meeting Next Tuesday - January 26, 2021 2:30pm - How Much Should They Get Paid? How Easy Should It Be To Follow What They Do? [Updated] - includes  the meeting agenda and the staff recommendations for

  • Public meetings & notices policy
  • Public records policy
  • Compensation policy
  • Travel and per diem policy

and my comments on some of these. 

Rough transcript of meeting to approve Request for Information for attorneys to advise the Board.  Proposals should be in by January 29.  

Rough transcript of the meeting and some of the staff documents.  

Monday, December 28, 2020 -  The Alaska Redistricting Board Meets Tomorrow (Tuesday) Afternoon [Updated] - My thoughts on covering the 2020 Redistricting Board after blogging the 2010 Board.  Some links to get info on the Board and the agenda for the Dec. 31 Board meeting.  

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