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Arizona Dems allege illegal gerrymandering in redrawing of legislative maps

AZ Redistricting
Ross D. Franklin/AP, file
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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission meets in Phoenix in October. Arizona Democrats say the commission's maps that were adopted in January give unfair advantage to at least three incumbent Republican state senators.

Arizona Democrats say the commission that redraws new congressional and legislative districts did so illegally. According to the allegations, the new maps give unfair advantage to at least three incumbent Republican state senators.

According to the complaint filed with Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office, the Independent Redistricting Commission’s two Republican members violated the state’s open meeting law and state constitution. It also alleges the commission members improperly used state resources and public funds. The Democrats are urging a formal investigation into the alleged gerrymandering.

According to the complaint, the line dividing the sixth and seventh legislative districts in Flagstaff was redrawn to include Republican state Senator Wendy Rogers’ residence on West Route 66. The Democrats say the move kept Rogers in the GOP-friendly 7th district, which includes Snowflake and Show Low, and out of the more Democratic-leaning 6th district that includes much of Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation.

The commission did not respond to a request for comment.

Arizona voters created the commission in 2000 through a ballot proposition to redraw electoral maps every 10 years. It’s made up of two Republicans, two Democrats and an independent chair.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.