Frequently Asked Questions

What is a grid map?
The Arizona Constitution mandates that redistricting begin with a grid map. This is to ensure that each Independent Redistricting Commission starts from scratch.
But these grid maps reflect only two of the six criteria the commissioners are required to consider:

  • Equal population; and
  • Compactness and contiguousness

In drafting the new district maps, commissioners must modify the grid maps to account for four other criteria:

  • Compliance with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act;
  • Respect for communities of interest;
  • Incorporation of visible geographic features, including city, town and county boundaries, as well as undivided census tracts; and
  • Creation of competitive districts where there is no significant detriment to other goals.
    Once those modifications have been done, the resulting draft may bear little resemblence to the grid map.
Q: What is Redistricting?

A: Redistricting is the redrawing of legislative and congressional district lines following the decennial U.S. Census. The lines are redrawn so that districts are of very nearly equal population as required by the Arizona and United States Constitutions.
Q: How and why was the Commission formed?

A: The Commission was formed by the passage of Proposition 106 by the people of Arizona in the 2000 General Election. Proposition 106 amends the Arizona Constitution to create a five-member commission to redraw Congressional and Legislative district boundaries following the 2000 Census. Previously, the State Legislature was responsible for redrawing the lines. Many people believed this practice resulted in boundaries that served the politicians instead of the people of Arizona. The five-member Redistricting Commission acts independently of the State Legislature.

Q. All the commissioners are from the Phoenix or Tucson areas. Why is there none from a rural area?

A. Because the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) goes out of business between redistricting cycles, the next set of commissioners must be chosen by someone else. The Arizona Constitution directs the state Commission on Appellate Court Appointments to solicit and review applications from the public and nominate 25 people – 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats and five independents.

This time around, only 11 of 79 applications came from outside of Maricopa and Pima counties: two each from Navajo and Pinal counties; one each from Mohave, Santa Cruz, Graham, Cochise, Coconino, Yavapai and Yuma counties; and none from Apache, Gila, Greenlee or La Paz county.

After reviewing the applications, the appointing panel nominated only three candidates from rural counties, all Democrats – one each from Coconino, Navajo and Yuma counties.

From the 25 nominees, two from each party are selected for the commission by the party leaders in each legislative chamber. No more than two of those four can be residents of the same county. Those four then choose one of the nominated independents to serve as chairman.

In 2010, the parties each chose one member from Maricopa County and one from Pima County. Those four then selected an independent from Pima County to lead the commission.

Final Maps

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