Monday, October 10, 2016

Lessons from Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission

Sixteen years ago, Arizona tried something pretty revolutionary at the time, through a ballot initiative, they created the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

Its Mission:

The Independent Redistricting Commission's mission is to redraw Arizona’s Congressional and Legislative Districts to reflect the results of the most recent census. The concept of one-person, one-vote dictates that Districts should be roughly equal in population. Other factors to be considered are the Federal Voting Rights Act, District shape, Geographical features, respect for Communities of Interest and potential competitiveness. The State Constitution requires the Commissioners, two Republicans, two Democrats, and an Independent Chairwoman, to start from scratch rather than redraw existing Districts.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

Even though partisan politicians have challenged the Commission, the results have been a huge win for Democracy.

Sixteen years later, Arizona’s Congressional Delegation is far more competitive than it was in the years prior to Independent Redistricting.

Throughout the ’90s, the State had six Districts and Republicans almost always controlled a majority, but in recent years there’s been a considerable back and forth.

That’s a big step toward reflecting the politics of the State’s residents.

This is a process that should be replicate across the Country.

It will require a State-by-State fight to put reform on the ballot, against the wishes of the partisan politicians in power.

And in some states, get Referendum & Initiative (R&I) on their ballot.

We only can succeed with grassroots support.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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