Making Sure Voters Select Their Representatives. Not Vice Versa. Democratic Perspective co-host Steve Williamson welcomes Holli Ploog to the show to discuss the once-every-decade redistricting of legislative and congressional districts in Arizona. Ploog is currently a member of the Sedona City Council.
She begins by explaining that Arizona is one of only 13 states that have an independent redistricting commission to create the districts based on the census. According to Ploog, the commission is comprised of five members – two each appointed by the legislative leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the chairperson who must be an independent. There cannot be more than one member from a single county. Additionally, members cannot be active in a political party or have run for office within a certain timeframe before the process.
The redistricting process begins with grid maps of contiguous districts with equal population. The commission then modifies the maps according to other factors such as communities of interest (healthcare, transportation, tourism, commerce, education, etc.), as well as geographical boundaries, and competitiveness. Finally, the commission requests the public’s input. It’s a complex, but necessary process to prevent partisan gerrymandering.