Three days: Judge sets May 3 for final redistricting map legal challenges in Eagle River – Anchorage – Girdwood

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Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews set May 3 as the last day that Alaskans may legally challenge any of the unresolved lines on the 2022 redistricting map. Those unresolved lines involve just East Anchorage, Eagle River, and Girdwood, but any decisions that change the political boundaries could have a domino effect across other districts in Anchorage. Previous legal challenges have already been litigated and rejected by the Alaska Supreme Court; just one set of districts is still in dispute.

Background: Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, the political lines are redrawn all over America to balance out the populations of state House, Senate, and congressional districts. This decennial redistricting exercise in Alaska started in August of 2021, and has been the subject of several lawsuits. Lawsuits are typical parts of redistricting, as political sides try to get more districts that are favorable to their political parties. Redistricting exercises are, by their nature, political processes and are always subject to accusations of gerrymandering.

For the final unresolved part of the map, challenges have been made by Democrat surrogates pushing for another Democrat-leaning seat in the East Anchorage area. After they challenged the maps earlier this year, the courts asked the Alaska Redistricting Board to review its work and find a way to cut Eagle River and a neighborhood in North Muldoon are of Anchorage apart. The Alaska Redistricting Board did that by then pairing a portion of Eagle River with Girdwood and a portion of South Anchorage.

Girdwood plaintiffs filed a lawsuit over that design, pushing to not be paired with Eagle River.; Girdwood has been paired with conservative South Anchorage for the last 10 years. Girdwood is a more liberal enclave, while Eagle River is conservative, but is not South Anchorage conservative.

East Anchorage Democrat Party surrogates submitted a filing that objects to the new map, but they have not actually filed a lawsuit — yet. At this point, they seem to have abandoned Girdwood to fight on its own.

Oral arguments are scheduled for May 12 at 10 am, as a virtual hearing.

Why it matters to election season: Those in Anchorage planning to file for office are impacted by the compressed timeframe, because some of them will not know what district they are in until the last couple of weeks, or even the last couple of days, since the process is likely to go to the Alaska Supreme Court. For example, with the current map the Alaska Redistricting Board has drawn, Republican Sen. Lora Reinbold and Republican Sen. Roger Holland would have to run against each other for the new Senate seat that creates the Eagle River – South Anchorage – Girdwood district.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sounds very dishonorable. Sounds very unethical. Fair & square and let the peoples vote be it. Even if the evil Obama crew manage to destroy it all here with all there evil in the dark ways. Or president trump and the Christians save it all one more time. Fair and square let the peoples vote say it so. Oath breakers got us here voters please remember your oath breaker voters.

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