UPDATE: The tentative congressional- and legislative-district maps approved yesterday by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission have been posted to the agency’s website, azredistricting.org.
The panel adopted the maps pending analyses by its legal counsel and voting-rights consultants. According to counsel Mary O’Grady, the panel will have to vote on the maps again after receiving the analyses. The commission’s lawyers and staff then must prepare the state’s submission to the Department of Justice for its approval as mandated under the federal Voting Rights Act.
Tempe AZ (December 21, 2011) – The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Tuesday evening adopted a tentative congressional- and legislative-district maps, pending analyses by the panel’s legal counsel and voting-rights consultants.
Both maps passed on 3-2 votes, but with different breakdowns. On the congressional map, Chairman Colleen Coyle Mathis voted “yes,” along with Vice Chairman José Herrera and Commissioner Linda McNulty. Vice Chairman Scott Freeman and Commissioner Richard Stertz voted “no.” The legislative map drew “yeas” from Mathis, McNulty and Stertz and “nays” from Freeman and Herrera.
“This is a significant step toward fulfilling our mission,” Mathis said. “We’ve spent four weeks improving the draft maps, incorporating many of the suggestions we received during our second round of public hearings, as well as comments submitted to us in writing. We worked very hard to reach consensus on the map where possible, and it was also our consensus that it was time to move the process along.”
According to counsel Mary O’Grady, the panel will have to vote on the maps again after receiving the legal and technical analyses. The commission’s lawyers and staff then must prepare the state’s submission to the Department of Justice for its approval as mandated under the federal Voting Rights Act.
Major tweaks to the congressional map included:
- Reuniting Fountain Hills with Scottsdale in the proposed 6th District;
- Making Cochise County whole in the proposed 2nd District, along with the eastern portion of metropolitan Tucson; and
- Moving western Maricopa County to the rural 4th District, leaving the proposed 8th District more compact and suburban.