Redistricting commissioners exchange accusations, final map certification delayed

Independent Redistricting Commission /Jeremy Duda

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Arizona redistricting commissioners spent several hours airing accusations and grievances over the recently concluded mapmaking process but unexpectedly adjourned without certifying the final congressional and legislative districts.

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission gave its final certification to the state’s new congressional map on Tuesday after making a number of minor changes at the request of several counties. Technical difficulties and the unexplained disappearance of independent Chairwoman Erika Neuberg kept the AIRC from doing the same with the legislative map.

That means the commission won’t be able to transmit the final maps to the Secretary of State’s Office just yet. Vice Chairman Derrick Watchman, who chaired the end of the meeting in Neuberg’s absence, said a follow-up meeting will be scheduled. No date has yet been set. 

Until the AIRC transmits the maps to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the new districts won’t become official. Once Hobbs receives the maps, Arizona’s 15 counties can begin their work of incorporating the new districts into their voter registration and precinct data. 

Technically, the only work left for the commission to do before performing a ministerial duty of certifying the final maps for transmittal to the secretary of state was to make a series of minor changes requested by the counties. Seven counties had a total of 70 requested changes, largely to deal with inconsistencies between precinct boundaries and the new district lines, or to eliminate awkward divisions, such as boundaries that split apartment complexes. 

But the disagreements that shook the AIRC in its final days of work last month rose to the surface as the commissioners explained their votes — and pointed fingers at each other. 

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