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Is the sky really falling on Arizona Republicans? (access required)

Republicans have railed against the Independent Redistricting Commission, saying it intends to draw political lines that turn the state over to Democrats.

But the combination of constitutional requirements, federal regulations and voter registration numbers make for a reality that is far different from any tea partier’s nightmare scenario.

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IRC puts off decision on tracking media interaction

The state’s redistricting commission today moved closer to making a decision about whether it will continue require detailed tracking of all contact between its mapping firm and any member of the media.

But the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission postponed a vote so it can get more input from its attorneys, media outlets and bloggers.

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Flagstaff leaders seeking split from tribes in redistricting (access required)

During the last redistricting cycle, Flagstaff narrowly avoided being split into two legislative districts. But in order to keep the city whole, it was coupled with the expansive, Native American-dominated Legislative District 2, a district so heavily Democratic that not one Republican ran for the Legislature there in 2010, an otherwise GOP-wave year.

Now leaders in Flagstaff say they want to be part of a more competitive district, which can only be accomplished by severing ties with their Native American neighbors to the north and east.

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IRC split on cooperating with AG investigation (access required)

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission could stumble into another partisan divide, but this time it involves whether members will cooperate with Attorney General Tom Horne’s investigation into whether the commission violated open meeting and procurement laws when it hired a mapping consultant in June.

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Western Arizonans push for ‘river district’ in Congress (access required)

Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission has shifted gears, now collecting public input from elected officials and everyday residents about what they want to see when the state’s political maps get wiped clean and recast.

While the commissioners have heard a variety of suggestions, one recommendation has so far come across more coherently than any other: The perceived need for a squarely conservative congressional district extending along the Colorado River from Mexico to Utah.

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