Anchorage Reapportionment Committee pushes three maps forward

Public meetings will be held on the proposed maps on Feb. 24 and March 1. A new map needs to be approved by the full Anchorage Assembly by May 23.
Anchorage’s Reapportionment Committee is narrowing down its options for a new voting district map.
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 4:17 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s Reapportionment Committee is narrowing down its options for a new voting district map. The change will lead to a 12th Anchorage Assembly seat in District 1, and each district having two representatives.

Last week the committee had as many as 13 proposed maps to look at, and four of them were accepted for further discussion. In Monday’s meeting the committee narrowed it down to three proposed maps that will be forwarded on to the assembly on Tuesday, but they will not be discussed at the meeting.

The reapportionment process happens every 10 years when new data becomes available though the U.S. Census.

The maps that are now being considered are: Anchorage Action - V2, Robert Hockema - V2, and assembly member John Weddleton’s map. Committee Chair Chris Constant said some of the maps they rejected were too similar to some of the maps they accepted, and others divided neighborhoods. He said their goal is to introduce a map to voters that creates fair and equal representation.

“Being equitable and not creating a decision making process that takes people who have had historically less access to political power through voting rights issues,” said Constant. “(Create) ways to integrate those communities into more natural neighborhoods.”

Last week’s meeting was a contentious one because three maps were taken out of consideration for being submitted late. Two of them were by Assembly Member Jamie Allard, and the other one was by Weddleton, who re-submitted his on Tuesday and it later accepted.

In a statement presented to the committee and people in attendance on Monday, Constant stated the difference between Weddleton and Allard’s submissions were that Weddleton’s were past the deadline but they were formatted properly and had accurate information. However, Allard’s were not properly formatted and had errors and inaccurate information, Constant said in the statement. He added Allard did not respond to email to correct the information.

Constant said going forward, the committee in unlikely to accept any more new maps.

“What we have a general agreement on is that the committee is moving forward these recommended maps and we’re not likely to support amended new maps because they haven’t been through the process, and in order to pass an item you need a majority,” Constant said. “Six of the members here made a general agreement.”

Public meetings will be held on the proposed maps on Feb. 24 and March 1. In the end, a new map needs to be approved by the full assembly by May 23. Constant added it will take six votes to approve a new voting district map, but if Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson decided to veto, it would take a supermajority of eight votes from the assembly members to overturn it.

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