The Alaska Redistricting Board met all last week to craft a new voting district map after the Alaska Supreme Court shot down the original plan as unconstitutional. The courts, in response to a lawsuit brought in Fairbanks, agreed that some districts were too spread out to meet state requirements. Kodiak’s Bob Brodie, who serves on the board, said the stretched districts were to satisfy federal law that insure Native Alaskan votes do not get diluted through the redistricting. He says the new plan hopefully will meet both state and federal requirements.
— (Redistricting 1 40 sec "Well, it’s always a big question … time on Western Alaska.")
The latest plan does change the westerly House district that would join with the Kodiak and North Gulf coast area to form a Senate district.
— (Redistricting 2 43 sec "Kodiak House District I … population up high enough.")
Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens says he’s anxious to see how the new map shakes out:
— (Redistricting 3 23 sec "It’s changed so often, so much … district is going to be.")
In any case, Stevens has filed for re-election, but Brodie points out that there is a deadline for the plan to be finalized:
— (Redistricting 4 21 sec "We’re hoping for an expedited … their mind on their filing.")
Brodie says there is a provision in the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling allowing for the former plan to be put into effect – with the changes to the Fairbanks area – if it looks like state and federal approval is not forthcoming. The redistricting board will vote in a teleconference on Thursday to finalize their new plan, and from there it will go to the Fairbanks Superior Court and to the Federal Department of Justice.