Redistricting Council Delivers District Drafts Via Technology

The Independent Redistricting Commission held its second round of public meetings via videoconferencing for parts of rural Arizona recently.

There were meeting places set up at Northland Pioneer College campuses and centers across the area, including Winslow, Holbrook, Kayenta and Polacca. Commissioner Joshua Hall presided over the conference from the Show Low location.

Drafts of the latest redistricting efforts were delivered drafts of the

Winslow has been drafted into the Congressional district known as District C. Other cities included in the proposed district are Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Holbrook, Kingman, Pinetop-Lakeside, Prescott, Sedona, Show Low, Snowflake-Taylor, Springerville-Eagar, and Williams. Most of the northern reservations are part of the district except for the Hopi Reservation, which is included in the district with the western part of the state and the Phoenix area.

Representatives from rural cities across Northern Arizona expressed appreciation for the Legislative and Congressional districts keeping the rural areas together and separated from urban locations.

Representatives from the Navajo Nation were on-hand to express their concerns about the Hopi tribe being separated from the rest of the tribes in the Congressional drawings. Several speakers stated the “gerrymandering” would result in a division of Native American votes resulting in a weaker voice in the government.

Winslow was drafted into the Legislative District E. Other cities included in the district are Springerville-Eagar, Globe, Holbrook, Payson, Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Snowflake-Taylor and St. Johns.

Located directly above Legislative District E is District A, which consist of all the northern reservations, including the Navajo Nation and the Hopi tribe.

When asked why the Navajo Nation and Hopi tribes were separated in the Congressional draft, but not the Legislative draft, Commissioner Hall responded by pointing out that a large deal of the problems between the two tribes are of a federal nature. He added that the tribes are currently located in the same Legislative District and the commission would like to try and keep that the same.

The last round of public forums finished up after the videoconferencing and now the commission is hard at work reevaluating their drafts.

Once they reach a final decision, they will present the final maps to their consultants. Commissioner Hall expected a final map towards the end of October.

Maps of the recent drafts can be seen at the Commissions website, www.azredistricting.org.

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