Dems accuse Redistricting Commission chair of political bias

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, December 4, 2021 - 8:23pm
Updated: Saturday, December 4, 2021 - 10:50pm

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Members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission review various versions of maps on Oct. 28, 2021, for new congressional and legislative districts.

Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission, known as the IRC, has drawn criticism from Democratic members of the state House and Senate, with accusations that IRC Chair Erika Neuberg, intended to be the commission’s independent deciding vote, is acting with political interest.

Arizona Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios and House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding allege that Neuberg has chosen the side of Republican commission members throughout the map drafting process.

Rios voiced her opinion at a public meeting Thursday.

“In 5-6 split votes during the October drafting process, the chairwoman voted with Republican commissioners. These actions of the commission and the resulting draft maps suggest a politically imbalanced commission,” said Rios.

Decisions made in split votes decided by Neuberg include hiring an executive director who previously worked for Republican Senator Martha McSally, and choosing a mapping firm that has “a history of ignoring input from communities of color, misrepresenting the Voting Rights Act, and using incomplete redistricting data,” according to Rios.