Alaska completes state legislative redistricting

Alaska completed its state legislative redistricting on May 24 when the Alaska Redistricting Board adopted a new map of state Senate districts at the direction of the Alaska Supreme Court. The state had initially enacted legislative district boundaries on Nov. 10, 2021, following a 3-2 vote by the redistricting board. The three Republican-appointed board members voted in favor of the map and the two nonpartisan board members voted against it.

The Alaska Supreme Court had ruled on March 25 that one state House and one state Senate district did not comply with the state constitution and required the redistricting board to redraw the districts. The Alaska Redistricting Board adopted new legislative district boundaries to comply with the state supreme court’s ruling on April 13. A group of plaintiffs challenged the mapping of state House to state Senate districts and on May 16, the Third District of Alaska’s Superior Court ruled that the April 13 map was unconstitutional.

The Alaska Supreme Court upheld the superior court’s decision on May 24. In its ruling, the state supreme court wrote, “We AFFIRM the superior court’s determination that the Board again engaged in unconstitutional political gerrymandering to increase the one group’s voting power at the expense of others.” The court’s ruling also affirmed “the superior court’s order that the Board adopt the Option 2 proclamation plan as an interim plan for the 2022 elections.”

As of May 25, 48 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers. The Ohio Supreme Court overturned that state’s previously enacted maps and Montana has not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,890 of 1,973 state Senate seats (95.8%) and 5,214 of 5,413 state House seats (96.3%).

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