What would be a fair map of political districts in Arizona?

Commentary by Nelson Morgan | Arizona Mirror

While fairness is not literally one of the six Arizona redistricting criteria, it should be everyone’s goal. 

In fact, the original proposition that Arizonans voted for to create the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has a preamble that gives its purpose as, “To oversee the mapping of fair and competitive congressional and legislative districts.”

The concept of fairness is intuitive to most people and is associated with our values, or the moral aspect of decision-making. If one party is supported with similar numbers of voters as another but only ends up with significantly fewer legislative representatives, it is unfair. You may like it if your preferred party has greater power, but isn’t a basic moral tenet to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” 

One attribute we’d like to see less of is something called “packing”. This is the term used to describe the choice of boundaries that put one party’s likely voters into as few districts as possible to diminish that party’s influence. It’s a practice that is rightfully viewed as unfair.

Most would agree that the packing of an opposition party’s supporters by those in power into a small number of districts is patently and morally wrong, no matter who does it. And people who believe in fairness in their private lives should oppose it in their public choices.


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November 2021