As we move into election season, residents may be seeing some new names on the political signs that are blossoming on just about every street corner in Phoenix. In many cases, the names aren’t new to the game, just new to the district. So, what’s up?
In November 2000, Arizona voters passed Proposition 106, a citizen initiative that amended the Arizona Constitution by removing the power to draw congressional and state legislative districts from the state legislature and reassigning this task to the newly created Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).
The IRC’s mission is to redraw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts to reflect the results of the most recent census, in this case, the 2020 Census. According to the commission’s website, “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 chairperson — start from scratch rather than redraw existing districts.
A new Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was appointed in January 2021 to adopt new congressional and legislative districts for Arizona. The new legislative maps were enacted Jan. 24, 2022.
A comprehensive website is available to inform the public about the commission’s work. Explore the new congressional and legislative district maps in depth at https://irc.az.gov and click on the “Maps” link, then click on “Official Maps.”