Friday, October 23, 2015

Expanding the Independent Redistricting Committee is a good idea poorly implemented

When I first heard about the proposed expansion from five members to nine, I thought it was a good idea. I still think so. So does AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona. However, upon closer inspection, the BlueMeanie concludes that "the devil is in the details."

Here is one example.

The other problem I have with this initiative is its super-majority requirement for any AIRC action:

(12) Seven commissioners, including the chair or vice-chair, constitute a quorum. Seven or more affirmative votes are required for any official action . . . .

The intent of this provision is to force encourage at least one Republican or Democratic appointee to join with the three members of the other political party and three independent appointees to make any decision. This is a recipe for failure. A simple majority vote is all that should ever be required for simple administrative and legislative acts.

The consequence will be that the AIRC deadlocks and is unable to complete its business in adopting legislative and congressional redistricting maps. If the AIRC cannot complete its task, redistricting is going to wind up in front of a three judge panel of the federal court by default. Judges will impose redisticting maps, as has occurred in past redistricting. This only serves to undermine the very purpose of the AIRC.

Check out the BlueMeanie's critique for other problems with the initiative.

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