|State website:||Alaska Redistricting Board|
|2010-cycle districts:||State legislative maps « NEW|
|2000-cycle districts:||State legislative maps|
|Primary governing law:||Alaska Const. art. VI
On June 13, 2011, the Redistricting Board issued its final state legislative plan, which was precleared on October 11. On February 3, a state court rejected the plan, remanding to the Redistricting Board to redraw four districts; on appeal, the state Supreme Cout decided on March 15 that the Board should restart the process, drawing lines first under the state Constitution and only then adjusting for Voting Rights Act compliance where necessary. On April 5, the Redistricting Board issued a new state legislative plan; on April 20, the plan was again rejected by the courts, and remanded for redrawing, but on reconsideration on appeal, the state Supreme Court ordered the temporary use of the April 5 plans as interim maps for 2012 only. That interim plan was precleared on June 27.
Redistricting political control:
Governor State Senate State House Congressional lines n/a State legislative lines Republican officials have appointed all 5 members of Alaska's independent commission; state law requires that these appointments be made without regard to political affiliation. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 8] 2000 cong. lines n/a 2000 state lines Democratic officials appointed the majority of Alaska's independent commission; state law requires that these appointments be made without regard to political affiliation. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 8]
Alaska has only one congressional district.
Alaska's state legislative lines are drawn by a five-member independent commission, in place since 1998. None of the commissioners may be public officials or employees when they are appointed to serve. The Governor chooses two commissioners, the state Senate and House majority leaders each choose one, and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court chooses one; each commissioner must be chosen without regard to party affiliation. Each commissioner must have lived in Alaska for at least a year, and at least one commissioner must be appointed from each of the state's judicial districts. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 8]
The current commissioners are here.
Census data were delivered to Alaska on March 15, 2011.
Alaska state law requires that its commission draw initial proposals for state legislative lines within 30 days of the commissioners' appointment or within 30 days of the delivery of Census data, whichever is later -- in 2011, that date was April 14. The commission then holds hearings on the proposals and makes appropriate adjustments. Final maps are due 90 days after the commission's appointment or delivery of the Census data, whichever is later -- which is June 14, 2011. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 10]
Candidates must file for the state legislative primary elections by June 1, 2012. [Alaska Stat. § 15.25.040]
Alaska prohibits redrawing district lines mid-decade, before the next Census. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 10]
- Public input
Citizens were entitled to submit proposed maps to the Redistricting Board. The Board held hearings on its own proposals and own these citizen maps from April 18 to May 6, with written comments accepted through May 13, 2011. Meetings of the Board are archived here, and public meetings are archived here.
Like all states, Alaska must comply with constitutional equal population requirements, but state law further demands that state legislative districts be populated as nearly equally as practicable. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 6; In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 47 P.3d 141, 145-46 (Alaska 2002)]
Alaska must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Alaska is further considered a "covered state" under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, with the obligation to submit redistricting plans to the Department of Justice or to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ensure that the plans do not discriminate against minority communities.
For its state legislative lines, the Alaska constitution also requires that districts be contiguous and compact. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 6; Hickel v. Southeast Conference, 846 P.2d 38, 44-46 (Alaska 1992); In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 44 P.3d 141, 143 (Alaska 2002)] Each district must also contain as nearly as practicable a "relatively integrated socio-economic area." [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 6; In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 47 P.3d 1089, 1091, 1094 (Alaska 2002); In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 44 P.3d 141, 145-46 (Alaska 2002); Hickel v. Southeast Conference, 846 P.2d 38, 46-47 (Alaska 1992); Kenai Peninsula Borough v. State, 743 P.2d 1352, 1361-65 (Alaska 1987)] In making these decisions, the commission may consider local government boundaries, and should use "drainage and other geographic features" to describe districts wherever possible. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 6; Kenai Peninsula Borough v. State, 743 P.2d 1352 (Alaska 1987)] Finally, state legislative districts must be nested, so that one Senate district is composed of two House districts. [Alaska Const. art. VI, § 6]
- 2010 cycle cases
Due to the volume of filings, information on the Alaska cases is located on a separate litigation page, here.
- 2000 cycle
In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Alaska's commission first drew lines that were struck down by the state Supreme Court, largely on compactness and equal population grounds. [In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 44 P.3d 141 (Alaska 2002)] The commission approved a second plan on April 25, 2002, which was upheld by the state Supreme Court, and precleared on June 11, 2002. [In re 2001 Redistricting Cases, 47 P.3d 1089 (Alaska 2002)]