Arizona Republicans May Sweep Next Election with New Voting Maps Amid Legal Threats

The approved map for Arizona’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation for the next 10 years./ Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

By Kristen Mosbrucker | Phoenix New Times

Republicans are poised to have majority control in the Arizona legislature and dominate Arizona’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade as freshly approved voting maps may sway power.

After more than 100 public meetings and countless hours of debate among those on the bipartisan redistricting commission, critics question whether the final maps are fair.

Some suggest that gerrymandering, the drawing of districts to unfairly favor one political party, snuck into the process.

The Arizona Democratic Party claims the redistricting commission and specifically, the independent chairperson delivered the GOP “the gift of the most imbalanced gerrymandered congressional map that Arizona has seen in a generation.”

The next decade could yield a legislature with even more conservative lawmakers likely to propose a variety of new laws whether anti-immigrant, further restricting access to abortion, or banning topics in public schools. Democrats argue that Arizona’s GOP has been a “proving ground” for more alt-right politicians who align themselves with Donald Trump and his ilk.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project found that both maps favored Republicans to varying degrees, earning the congressional and legislative maps letter grades of C and B respectively. But the drafted congressional maps in late October had earned an A from the Ivy League research group meaning that the final maps were more partisan. 

The new maps caught the attention of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who served under President Barack Obama. Holder predicted that the Arizona maps will be challenged in court.

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