PHOENIX — About six months after Congressional and state legislature redistricting was completed in Arizona, and almost 10 months after precinct lines were redrawn in Maricopa County, the county supervisor district lines are the final step.
Wednesday, the five supervisors will hold an executive session and an open session at a meeting set for 9:30 a.m. at the county building on West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix.
The board, along with Scott Jarrett, director of election day and emergency voting for the Maricopa County Elections Department, and an attorney will hash out the final stages of picking a map of supervisor district lines.
Intended to be completed much earlier after the completion of each U.S. Census, redistricting deadlines were moved back because of the slow completion of the 2020 Census.
The five Maricopa County supervisor district boundaries are being redrawn, with the deadline for this year’s redistricting extended to July 1.
Changes won’t take effect until after this November’s elections. The board can take up redistricting more frequently than every 10 years, if major changes occur, but the intent is to select a map that can be used until 2030 U.S. Census results are published.
Last September, Jarrett and two county judges walked the supervisors through more than 130 changes that were largely the result of the fast-paced growth of Maricopa County and Arizona in general.
On June 20, Jarrett walked the supervisors back through that process and discussed five potential maps as well as taking public input.
As of today, using the 2010 U.S. Census data to create the existing five districts, the largest in population was District 2, covering the county’s eastern and northeastern portions. It has grown to about 916,000 residents.
The smallest is District 3, covering northern Phoenix and places in the Carefree and New River area, with a population of about 858,000.
That disparity far exceeds one state requirements of redistricting, Jarret said, which is to have not more than a 5% difference in population and in no event with more than a 10% difference in population.
Jarrett presented the five map options and pointed out some major changes that would take place if that map were selected as is.
Jarret said moving district lines would relocate the town of Guadalupe from District 5 to District 1, separating it from the city of Tempe.
One public speaker at the June 20 meeting objected to Guadalupe being in a different district from Tempe. Another speaker opposed putting a significant parts of Tempe in different districts.
District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo asked Jarett about a handful of different cities and if some were too large in population or too unwieldy or awkward in boundaries to be included in one district. Mesa’s population, for example, is 509,000.
Jarret said yes, some cities will unfortunately need to be broken up into more than one supervisor district. He also said future growth is considered.
“That’s why we, see, on Map No. 1, large portions of (undeveloped) land, such as the Tonopah and Salome precincts, going from District 4 to District 5,” Jarret said.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission redrew the state’s eight Congressional districts and 30 state legislature districts over the winter.
The public had the opportunity to make online comments on the county maps.
Thomas Galvin, who was appointed to replace Steve Chucri after the District 2 supervisor resigned last year, along with candidates for some special health care, community college, fire, justice of the peace and constable seats, will run using boundaries established after the 2010 U.S. Census.
The final map chosen shall comply with the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
Other goals include creating districts that are geographically compact and contiguous to the extent practicable, respecting communities of interest, such as school districts, cultural ties or land form restrictions, and using visible geographic features, city and town boundaries, and undivided census tracts to help establish boundaries.
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