Mat-Su Borough sues redistricting board over map that dilutes its growing power

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The Matanuska-Susitna Borough says that the new political boundaries drawn by the Alaska Redistricting Board has robbed the people of the Mat-Su by diluting their votes with other population centers.

In the new map, the borough has one House district — 29 — that is tied in with Valdez.

The Mat-Su Borough had proposed having four House seats exclusively in the borough, and two House seats that it would share, but it didn’t want to have that district including Valdez, and Valdez has also said it doesn’t feel naturally paired with the Mat-Su. It’s an oil export city on Prince William Sound, and it tends to vote solidly Republican, 53.1% to 41.9%. Valdez voted Republican in the last five presidential elections, after voting Democratic in 2000.

Another section of the borough was shaved off and added to the district that represents the Denali Borough, District 30.

The plan, according to the Mat-Su lawsuit, dilutes the effective strength of MSB voters, by throwing a few of them into a borough to the north, and a few to a borough to the east. That, the lawsuit says, is not respecting the borough boundaries and those voters living in that section.

As one of the nation’s fastest growing areas, the Mat-Su Borough has an estimated population of 108,317 and projects it will grow to 130,000 by 2027.

The Denali Borough, according to the U.S. Census, has 2,097 residents. Valdez has a population of 3,985.

Every one of the districts in the Mat-Su “overpopulated” on the map by 400 people, the most significant deviation in the state. Anchorage’s 16 districts are underpopulated by 10 percent, which is the number that has been used historically as the highest deviation that would be acceptable.

All lawsuits challenging the final redistricting map must be filed by Dec. 10. This is the first lawsuit to be filed, but others are expected.

6 COMMENTS

  1. So I understand that redistricting inevitably means there will be some large or weird looking districts to make everything as even as possible. That being said, this map is ridiculous. Valdez is five hours away from the Mat-Su and has distinct needs and values. Stop making these ridiculous boundaries and group districts by geography or other political boundaries. It’s the only fair way to do it.

  2. Whatever happens just preach the Gospel across the boundary lines.
    You know what China government does thinking its decreasing Christian congregation? They have a size rule no church can exceed 25 people. What the government is doing are doing is quadrupling the churches and increasing the Christian representation by splitting one church into two only for it to multiply its numbers only splitting churches to stay compliant under China rule while continuing to increase new believers. Hahahahaha
    The devil is Shrewd. Well! so can the people of the light can be just as shrewd as the people of darkness, except without using the conniving and manipulating sinning actions the people of darkness uses. Learn to think ahead if the redistricting board members won’t listen. How can the opposition party just increase their land space using what has been done agianst them.

  3. Oh, Oh, the lib “posey sniffers” must want to build an REI store in Wasilla. Mandated electric bike stations? CRT infrastructure?

  4. So Los Anchorage gets maximum representation by underpopulating seats while the Mat-Su gets under representation by jamming as many as possible per district. What’s the math work out to on that? A Los Anchorage vote is worth 1.115 to every 1 Mat-Su vote? Think that doesn’t add up over time?

    • Well, Steve, since the majority of Anchorage voters are among the most statist and pro-big-government in the state, why wouldn’t the statists and pro-big-government majority in our state legislature tend to favor them?
      Sure, it’s unethical, wrong, illegal and unconscionable, but do you think that any of that matters to sociopaths whose ONLY goal is winning and retaining power at any cost?

  5. The “overpopulated” and “underpopulated” districts usually can be translated into the “favored” and “disfavored” . The touchstone of representative democracy is that citizens should be treated equally. What a joke. With the expanded government dependency and weakened private economy in Anchorage, lots of left-leaning people now are elected in Anchorage. Thus, these districts are “underpopulated”. The folks in MatSu elect conservatives and are now “overpopulated.”. It is all fairly despicable. Ex-Senator Cathy Geissel is largely responsible.

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