Independent Redistricting Commission set to begin redrawing the state’s district voting maps

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The Independent Redistricting Commission redraws Legislative and Congressional district voting maps with every new 10-year census count. After the census has been released every 10 years. The Commission is unaffiliated with state lawmakers and is made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent chairperson. For the latest on the Commission’s recent round of work, we spoke with Jeremy Duda of the Arizona Mirror.

What does the Independent Redistricting Commission do?

“Every ten years, Arizona and every other state, we have to re-draw our Congressional and Legislative districts to account for changing population…gain people, lose people and people move around within a state. The districts that we drew 10 years ago are in no way equal in population, so they have to be redrawn,” Duda said.

According to Duda, the Congressional districts have to be almost precisely equal in population. With Legislative districts, there’s a bit more latitude.

The independent chairperson within the Commission is, “the critical piece as we’ve seen in the last couple of times in the first two Independent Redistricting Commissions we’ve used. 10 years ago we had a chair who very much seemed to be aligned with the Democrats, you saw a lot of 3-2 votes,” Duda said.

Another year the independent chairperson favored more of the Republicans while redistricting. But this year’s still remains to be seen as they haven’t put pen to paper yet.

Duda said that although they haven’t gotten started too much with this process, Democrats seem a bit alarmed and concerned that they may be in the minority this year when it comes to redistricting.

This process would normally have begun a few months ago but due to COVID, there has been a push-back. They’re set to start working and approving grid maps very soon.

Jeremy Duda, Reporter, Arizona Mirror

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