Alaska Editorial: Back to work

This editorial first ran in the Ketchikan Daily News:

 

Beginning this week, the Alaska Redistricting Board will get down to brass tacks coming up with a new election-district map as ordered by the court, working toward public hearings — beginning with one in Anchorage by month’s end — and tentatively coming up with a new redistricting plan by July 12.

It is going to come up with what it calls a Hickel Plan, after the process used in an earlier case. The board must redraw the map with boundaries for voting districts for the 2014 elections, focusing on meeting the state constitution’s strictures.

Afterwards, the board must ensure the proposal meets federal voting rights requirements. In Alaska’s case, that means the districts’ configuration can’t dilute the ability of Alaska Natives to elect candidates.

If the plan, after they’ve reviewed it and made sure it meets state constitutional requirements, does not meet the federal Voting Rights Act as well, then they can change the plan to meet federal law as well. According to a court ruling, meeting the voting rights requirement is the only reason they can veer from state constitutional requirements.

The board begins Thursday and will work for a week on the plan.

That body won’t be the only group working on a plan. Third parties may also do so, and must submit their proposals by June 21. The board says that any individual, group or organization that intends to submit a Hickel Plan — and that’s the requirement — must provide “reasonable advance notice” to the board’s staff in Anchorage, notifying them by phone, fax or email.

The board wants public input as it works.

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

 

More

Helping victims redefine their worth: Taking a stand against human trafficking

Sex trafficking is a rapidly growing, very lucrative crime in our state. In fact, most trafficking victims were first exploited as children. A recent Loyola... Read more

Alaska’s economy depends on ocean science and technology

When considering the importance of our national maritime economy, it’s hard to miss the connections between Alaska and the ocean. Alaska has the longest coastline... Read more

On seniors, ‘political spin’ designed to distort facts

The Sept. 13 Letter to the Editor by Dean Guanelli and the Sept. 15 My Turn by Assembly member Debbie White on the senior tax-exempt... Read more