Redistricting Board Defends Boundaries

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Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

Oral arguments in the Supreme Court hearing over Alaska’s new political boundaries are scheduled for March 13th. Bob Brodie of Kodiak, who is on the Alaska Redistricting Board, says they are challenging a decision that ruled their mapping of House Districts 1, 2 and 38 is unconstitutional.

(Redistrict 1 :49 "We’re happy to try and redraw districts 1 and 2 in the Fairbanks area. It will probably affect districts 3 and 4 before we’re done because of the give and take. We don’t agree with the judge’s order on 37 and 38. in one of his conclusions he agrees that we were agree in the necessity to take urban voters and mix them with rural voters and in the next breath he says that 38 was not socioeconomically correct which is urban and rural people and it was remanded to the board so we’re going to challenge that.")

Any changes in their boundaries that affect districts with a majority of Native voters must be approved by the Department of Justice.

(Redistrict 2 :32 "I would expect before the end of March we will have a Supreme Court decision and then we’d have April and May to get things together. I would say it would only take us a couple of days to come up with a new plan ,if the circumstances are that we have to change anything in the plan that has approved by the Department of Justice it has to go back for their approval but there’s and expedited process for that.")

Brodie says changes to the plan could affect district boundaries around Kodiak.

(Redistrict 3 :22 "The Fairbanks area shouldn’t have any affect on Kodiak but if we are required to redraw 37 and 38 there’s that cascade effect of Western rural Alaska so who knows what’ll happen to us. I suspect it would have more impact on Senator Stevens. Alan Austerman’s district I think, for the most part, will be probably untouched.")

The board is on a tight deadline to have a final plan in place by June 1st, when legislators must file for re-election.

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