An elections map: Redistricting board needs to get moving

This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

It’s time for the Alaska Redistricting Board to present revised election districts to the public that follow the dictates of the Alaska Constitution.

The board’s reluctance to complete its task drew a strong rebuke Thursday from Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy, who called for revised plans and public hearings as soon as possible.

We agree with Judge McConahy and urge the board to produce revised plans and get them out for public comment. There is no question about the need for public review and the need to get as much work done as soon as possible so that a final plan will be ready for the 2014 elections.

The judge said the board has discussed having a proposed plan by August but that does not leave enough time to “promulgate a plan, have hearings and seek judicial review.”

“There is no reason to delay this process any further,” he said.

In February 2012, McConahy ruled that the board needed to redraw its plan to follow the Alaska Constitution. Last December, the Alaska Supreme Court ordered the drafting of a new plan.

The board has not done so, contending that it would be wise to wait and see what the U.S. Supreme Court rules in an Alabama case on the Voting Rights Act.

As the Fairbanks judge makes clear, it is a straightforward matter to create a constitutional plan for Alaska, and no ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is needed to decide on a course of action.

“Suggestions to the contrary are dilatory and, at the most generous, disingenuous,” he wrote.

The board should heed the words of the Alaska Supreme Court: “The first step in the redistricting process is to construct districts that comply with the requirements of the Alaska Constitution.”

Judge McConahy recommended that the Alaska Supreme Court give the board 10 days to revise plans and post them on its website and set deadlines for holding public hearings and receiving any other proposed plans from the public.

It should be a priority for the board needs to adopt a greater sense of urgency and finish its work.

More

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 20:01

My Turn: Alaskans have a right to consent to PFD and fund changes

The Permanent Fund Defenders mission is to educate people about the history and purpose of Alaska’s Permanent Fund and dividend (PFD); to protect and defend what we regard as its primary purpose; and to support legislators in making the right decisions related to the Permanent Fund and PFD that benefit all Alaskans.

Read more
Mon, 02/20/2017 - 20:01

Outside Editorial: Good, bad and fake news on vaccines

The following editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee:

Read more
Mon, 02/20/2017 - 20:01

My Turn: Public safety funding needed

We’re lifelong Alaskans, concerned citizens, and police officers. We love Alaska. We take pride in our career, and in serving and protecting Alaskans.

Read more
Mon, 02/20/2017 - 20:01

Letter: The human cost of war

The Vietnam War officially ended on April 30, 1975.

Read more

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING