Arizona redistricting committee approves draft maps; public hearings to follow

Oct 29, 2021, 9:40 AM | Updated: 9:43 am
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee)...
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee)
(Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee)

PHOENIX – The bipartisan panel drawing Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts for the next decade approved draft maps Thursday, moving a monthslong process into its final phase.

After a 30-day public comment period, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will meet to finalize new boundaries for the state’s nine congressional and 30 legislative districts.

Interactive versions of maps and other information about the redistricting process can be found on the AIRC website. The boundaries could still change before the final versions are adopted.

The commission will schedule hearings at sites across the state, where the public will be able to participate in person or remotely. The dates and locations will be posted at online when they are determined.

The process started in September with the creation of grid maps of equal populations to use as starting points. The next phase was to adjust the boundaries based on goals mandated by the Arizona Constitution.

For phase three, the commission met publicly nine days this month and deliberated over more than seven series of congressional maps and 10 series of legislative maps before settling on the approved drafts, according to a press release.

The committee expects to complete the final phase in December.

The AIRC was created to redraw boundaries every 10 years, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, when voters passed Proposition 106 in a 2000 initiative. Previously, it was the Legislature’s task.

The five-member panel is made up of Democrats Derrick Watchman and Shereen Lerner, Republicans Douglas York and David Mehl, and an independent chair who was selected by the partisan members, Chandler psychologist Erika Neuberg.

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Arizona redistricting committee approves draft maps; public hearings to follow