New political boundaries could pair Petersburg in a voting district with Sitka and Hoonah, instead of Juneau. The Alaska Redistricting Board will get a legal opinion this weekend on its most recently proposed map.
The redistricting process began after data from the 2010 U.S. Census was released. At the time, Alaska’s political boundaries had to comply not only with the Alaska Constitution, but also with a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act required states with a history of voter discrimination to have its redistricting map approved by the Department of Justice. The U.S. Supreme Court struck out that requirement in June.
The new map attempts to remedy criticism of an interim map that was used for the 2012 election. It separates Fairbanks communities that were paired with rural Western Alaska communities and unites the Aleutians into one district. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough would get an additional state Senate seat and four incumbent Senators would be required to run for