Comments Sought For New Congressional Districts
This is from an article in San Tan Valley Today. As this area grows so does the need to add more County Supervisors. How it gets done, and done right is up to the powers that be. But they are looking for your comments. Here is the link to the article.
Comment sought on new congressional districts By Chase Kamp Today Publications
Public comment is being requested to aid the process of redistricting on both the state and county levels. The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is holding statewide meetings to discuss the addition of another Congressional seat, while Pinal County is prepping for the addition of two more Supervisors in the year 2012.
In compliance with Arizona law, Pinal County must be represented by five supervisors as the population has exceeded 200,000. Pinal County has a population of 375,770, up from about 180,000 people in 2000.
The Board is seeking public input about the redrawing of district lines to see if residents are concerned with dividing cities or seeking equal party registration numbers in each of the new districts.
Supervisor districts must follow voting precincts, which are also being redrawn due to Pinal County’s expansive growth. Arizona law dictates that Supervisor districts must stay within a 10 percent population difference. The districts must also comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prevents discriminatory voting practices.
The County redistricting plan must also be pre-cleared by the federal Department of Justice. Pinal County has hired Bruce Adelson, a federal compliance consultant and former counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, to assist with the redistricting process.
The County plans to submit a redistricting plan to the Department of Justice by October.
Paul Messinger, President of the San Tan Valley Republican Club, said he and other politically active residents are being cautious in regard to the potential for gerrymandering in the supervisor districts, but are hopeful about the process. “You can’t please everybody, but if they do it right and fair, they have a shot at a decent alignment,” he said.
Residents can fill out the survey regarding the new supervisor districts at the County website, PinalCountyAZ.gov.
For the new Congressional seat Arizona received after the 2010 Census, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will assist with the redistricting. The commission is a bi-partisan five-person committee that acts independently from the state legislature, which used to draw the district lines.
The commission is also seeking public input on the new districts to prevent alienation of minority voters and gerrymandering.
Meetings of the Independent Redistricting Commission took place in Casa Grande and Maricopa on July 27, after press time. Visit AZRedistricting.org to check for future public meetings in the Pinal County area.