Prescott, AZ. Arizona is one of six states that use independent commissions to draw district borders – along with California, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Washington. There are many states grappling with the issue of gerrymandering currently. In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan-advantaged districts.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's mission is to redraw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts to reflect the results of the most recent census. The concept of one-person, one-vote dictates that districts should be roughly equal in population. Other factors considered are the federal Voting Rights Act, district shape, geographical features, respect for communities of interest and potential competitiveness. The state Constitution requires the commissioners – two Republicans, two Democrats and an independent chairperson – to start from scratch rather than redraw existing districts.
The League of Women Voters of Central Yavapai County is excited to be collaborating with Yavapai College and Osher Lifelong Learning to present “How Gerrymandering Rigs Elections” on Saturday, February 3, 2018, with guest speaker, Colleen Mathis. The four appointed Commissioners unanimously chose Ms. Mathis as chair of the Arizona Redistricting Commission in 2011. She will serve in this role until the next chair is selected in 2021. Colleen earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois. She is an affiliated associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University and a principal at Willet Creek Consulting, specializing in nonprofit management, communications and business development.
This meeting will take place in Building 3, Room 119 at Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon Street in Prescott from 10:00 a.m. – Noon. The public is welcome to attend this educational, informative meeting.