No New Congressional Seat Means Redistricting Commission Must Divide Arizona 9 Ways Again
Underwhelming Census turnout and no new seat in Congress means Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission must again divide the state nine ways.
Each Congressional District has to have roughly the same number of people. So many are likely to include part of Maricopa County when the final map is done.
“Unless they end up tilting in one way that favors one party or another, it’s probably going to look a lot like it does right now. But there will be one or more competitive seats. I hope it’s more,” said Mike O’Neil, Tempe-based political consultant.
Right now Arizona’s nine seats in the House of Representatives are held by five Democrats and four Republicans.
Mike O’Neil, a political consultant based in Tempe, says the commission is not allowed to consider the current district lines in the process of drawing new ones. They must start with a blank slate.
“Drawing those district lines is sort of like squeezing sausage. If you squeeze it one place, it comes out in all kinds of other places, and every change you make in one place has to come out someplace else," O'Neil said.
O’Neil says most districts will likely include Maricopa County because of its big population, and the fact that each of the nine districts must have a nearly equal amount of people.