Third Alaska redistricting plan faces legal challenges
By Alex Murray
JUNEAU, ALASKA: The third time might not be the charm for the Alaska Redistricting Board, as it faces more legal challenges to its attempt to redraw the state's legislative districts following the 2010 census.
On Tuesday, the Alaska Democratic Party, along with Katie Hurley and Warren Keogh, filed a lawsuit charging the Board with drawing its third proposed map to benefit conservative candidates, particularly in the Mat-Su region. Last month, a Fairbanks-based group filed a different suit, which says that lines in Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula, and the Matanuska-Susitna borough were unfairly drawn. Democratic attorney Joe McKinnon, who agrees with the Fairbanks group's complaint, said he hopes to have the two suits consolidated.
The redistricting board has asked for both complaints to be dismissed. An interim map was used for the 2012 elections. The Alaska Supreme Court has called for a new map to be drawn in time for the 2014 elections. McKinnon said he aims for a court master to draw the final map.