Arizona Creation of a Redistricting Commission, Proposition 106 (2000)

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Redistricting on PolicypediaState legislative and congressional redistricting after the 2010 CensusState-by-state redistricting procedures
Arizona Proposition 106, also known as the Constitutional Amendment Relating to Creation of a Redistricting Commission, was on the November 7, 2000, ballot in Arizona as an initiated constitutional amendment. It was approved.[1]

Proposition 106 amended the Arizona Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission to re-draw the state's legislative and congressional district lines after every census.


Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

The Arizona Legislature objected to Proposition 106, arguing that the state's independent redistricting commissions violates Section 4 of Article I of the United States Constitution.[2] The legislature claims the following segment of the section is violated by the commission:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.[3]

U.S. District Court

On February 22, 2014, the U.S. District Court for Arizona, in a two-to-one decision, ruled that the state's independent redistricting commission does not violate the federal constitution. The district court's ruling held that "Legislature" in Section 4 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution refers to the lawmaking process of the state and not legislators specifically.[2]

U.S. Supreme Court

On October 2, 2014, the United States Supreme Court placed Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission among the cases it will consider in its upcoming term.[4] The question presented to the court is:[2]

Does the provision of the Arizona Constitution that divests the Arizona Legislature of any authority to prescribe congressional district lines violate the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution, which requires that the time, place, and manner of congressional elections be prescribed in each state by the “Legislature thereof”?[3]

Election results

Arizona Proposition 106 (2000)
Approveda Yes 784,272 56.1%
Election results from Arizona Elections Department.

Text of measure

Official title

Proposition 106's official ballot title said:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; Amending Article IV, Part 2, Section 1, Constitution of Arizona; relating to ending the practice of gerrymandering and improving voter and candidate participation in elections by creating an independent commission of balanced appointments to oversee the mapping of fair and competitive congressional and legislative districts.[5][3]

Official summary

The Arizona Legislative Council, which produces summaries of Arizona's ballot measures for the state's official voter guide, said this about Proposition 106:

Proposition 106 would amend the Arizona Constitution to establish an appointed Redistricting Commission to redraw the boundaries for Arizona's legislative districts (for the members of the Arizona Legislature) and to redraw the boundaries for the Congressional Districts (for Arizona's members of the United States Congress). Currently, state law provides that the Arizona Legislature draws the legislative and congressional district lines. These lines are usually redrawn every ten years, after the state receives the results of the U.S. Census.

This proposition provides that the appointed Redistricting Commission shall first draw districts that are equal in population in a grid-like pattern across the state, with adjustments to meet the following goals:

1. Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. 2. Both legislative and congressional districts shall be equal in population, to the extent practicable. This establishes a new strict population equality standard for legislative districts. 3. Districts shall be geographically compact and contiguous, as much as practical. 4. District boundaries shall respect "communities of interest," as much as practical. 5. District lines shall follow visible geographic features, and city, town and county boundaries and undivided "census tracts" as much as practical. 6. Political party registration, voting history data and residences of incumbents and other candidates may not be used to create district maps. 7. "Competitive districts" are favored if competitive districts do not significantly harm the other goals listed.

The Redistricting Commission would consist of five members, no more than two of whom can be from the same political party or the same county. Persons would be eligible for membership on the commission if they meet certain voter registration requirements, and if during the last three years, they have not been candidates for public office or appointed to public office, except for school board members or officers, have not served as an officer of a political party or as an officer of a candidate's election committee and if they have not been a paid lobbyist. The Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, the Minority Party Leader of the Arizona House of Representatives, the President of the Arizona State Senate and the Minority Party Leader of the Arizona State Senate would each appoint one person to the Redistricting Commission. These four members of the Redistricting Commission would then meet and vote to appoint a fifth member to chair the commission. The commission would provide at least 30 days for the public to review the preliminary lines drawn by the commission, and then the commission would make the lines final, subject to approval by the United States Department of Justice.

Proposition 106 allocates $6 million to the Redistricting Commission for use in the redistricting process that begins in 2001 and allows additional money for later redistricting.[6] [3]

Fiscal impact

According to the official fiscal impact statement prepared by the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee,

Proposition 106 allocates $6,000,000 from general state revenue to the redistricting commission for use in the redistricting process that begins in 2001. Redistricting expenses are incurred once every ten years after the completion of the decennial census. If the Proposition is not approved, the current method of redistricting will continue to require funding. The sum of $3,000,000 has already been enacted into law for the current process.[3]



Supporters of Proposition 106 included:

  • Its sponsoring organization, "Fair Districts, Fair Elections"
  • Lisa Graham Keegan, Peoria, Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • John C. Keegan, Peoria, Mayor of Peoria
  • Janet Napolitano, Phoenix, Arizona Attorney General
  • Arizona Common Cause
  • League of Women Voters
  • Grant Woods, former Arizona Attorney General
  • The Arizona School Boards Association
  • Neil G. Giuliano, Mayor of Tempe
  • Sam Campana, former Mayor of Scottsdale, Scottsdale
  • Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix, Phoenix


Jim Pederson, the chair of "Fair Districts, Fair Elections," wrote:

Every once in a while, an issue comes along that makes so much sense and so clearly embodies the basic principles of democracy, people put aside their partisan differences and take action to protect the collective interest of citizen self-government.
The Citizen's Redistricting Commission Initiative is such an issue. A simple idea about giving citizens a central role in creating more representative democracy with so much common sense appeal that it enjoys the support of Arizonans statewide.
Amending the state constitution is no small matter and this is no minor issue.
Every 10 years, state legislators redraw the lines of Arizona's legislative and congressional districts. It's a once-a-decade political power struggle that has grown more important as the state has grown.
When legislators draw their own lines the result is predictable. Self-interest is served first and the public interest comes in a distant second. Incumbent legislators protect their seats for today and carve out new congressional opportunities for their political future.
The legislature has created a system that distorts representative democracy. There is only a four- percent difference between the number of registered Republicans and registered Democrats in this state - yet out of 30 legislative districts, there is only one where the difference in party registration is within 5 percent.
Allowing legislators draw the lines is the ultimate conflict of interest.
I am lifelong Arizonan. I was born in Casa Grande. I attended the University of Arizona. I've built a business here and I've raised a family. There are thousands of Arizonans who share a similar background - and more who have chosen to move to Arizona and call it home.
Our voices cannot be heard in a system that distorts our representation. We share a responsibility to step forward and correct this systemic flaw.[7][3]



Opponents of Proposition 106 included:

  • Barry M. Aarons, Senior Fellow - Americans for Tax Reform, Phoenix
  • The Arizona Chamber of Commerce
  • Bob Stump, United States Congressman, Tolleson
  • Jim Kolbe, United States Congressman, Tucson
  • J.D. Hayworth, United States Congressman, Cave Creek
  • Matt Salmon, United States Congressman, Mesa
  • John Shadegg, United States Congressman, Phoenix


Barry M. Aarons, a senior fellow with Americans for Tax Reform, wrote:

The redistricting commission amendment is a flawed proposition which will reduce the input of the will of the people of Arizona and vest disproportionate influence in the hands of bureaucratic Washington D.C. lawyers of the federal Justice Department. The people of Arizona have traditionally, through their elected representatives, drawn the lines from which the peoples' elected officials will represent them. Yes, these plans have to be submitted to the federal Justice Department for approval. But it has been our plan they have had to review - our plan drawn by our representatives - our representatives who serve with the consent of the governed. Under a commission, as experience in other states suggests, the procedure will undoubtedly be to ask the bureaucratic Washington D.C. lawyers of the federal Justice Department to design and approve the parameters under which Arizona's representatives will be elected. The Commission will be a conduit and a rubber stamp.
Arizonan's must not give up our right to determine the lines from which our officials should be elected. Do not let the bureaucratic Washington D.C. lawyers of the federal Justice Department gain disproportionate influence over our election process. Maintain the right to oversee the electoral process of redistricting and reapportionment here in Arizona with the elected representatives of the people not an appointed inexperienced elite who will be the handmaidens of the government in Washington's lawyers. Vote no on this proposition.[7][3]

See also

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