Calista responds to new electoral map

by Sophie Evan on July 15, 2013

map courtesy of redistricting board

map courtesy of redistricting board

Ever since the 2010 census, the State of Alaska has struggled with defining new election districts. The Y/K’s Regional ANCSA Corporation, Calista, opposed the original 2010 redistricting boundaries based on how part of the Fairbanks area was included in the same house district as the Lower Yukon. The new redistricting plan that was adopted Sunday is based on the proposal Calista submitted.

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As it stands now, Y/K delta residents will have two Senate seats, S and T; three Representative seats 37, 38, and 39 in the Alaska Legislature. Thom Leonard is Calista’s Commuications Manager he says,

“it definitely appears to be more politically balanced, there’s a stronger adherence to cultural boundaries and for the most part, when you look at the map, the Kuskokwim is in a single district, the Yukon area is in a single district, and they seem to be following cultural boundaries as much as they could.”

The redistricting board had to comply with both the Alaska Constitution and the Federal Voting Rights Act in defining this decade’s political boundaries. Leonard says there are more problems within the State of Alaska’s election process that needs to be addressed for the rural voters.

“there’s lots of other things with this process, we want to talk about Yup’ik ballots, we think that’s important and that’s what we’re going to argue for, and for the rural areas to have early voting, there’s no reason why the State shouldn’t allow early voting in rural areas, because right now they do not,” says Leonard.

The new electoral districts will be in use during the 2014 elections, until the next census in 2020.

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