The Alaska Redistricting Board adopted a final redistricting map on Wednesday, which will define legislative districts across the state for the next 10 years.
The Alaska Redistricting Board — whose members are appointed by state leaders — voted 3-2 on Wednesday to approve the final proclamation, which sets election districts for the 20 Senate districts and 40 House districts for the Alaska Legislature.
Board Chair John Binkley, of Fairbanks, and Members E. Budd Simpson, of Juneau, and Bethany Marcum, of Anchorage, voted in favor of the redistricting proclamation. Melanie Bahnke, of Nome, and Nicole Borromeo, of Anchorage, opposed the proclamation.
“I will not support a racial and partisan gerrymander of Muldoon. One senate pairing gone wrong is one too many,” Borromeo signed above her name.
“I do not agree with this plan,” Bahnke wrote.
Opponents will have 30-days to legally challenge the redistricting proclamation in the Alaska Supreme Court, per the Alaska Constitution.
“We need to ensure that this is a fair process that’s putting forward the best maps for Alaskans, not a political party or political gain,” Representative Grier Hopkins said.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough will be split into six districts, according to the approved map. The Alaska Redistricting Board is charged with mapping legislative boundaries every 10 years, based on U.S. Census data.
Figures from the 2020 Census show that Fairbanks had fewer people than the previous count in 2010. Alaska’s population growth slowed in the last decade at the highest rate in a century.
“Here in Fairbanks, looking at the socioeconomic ties of various districts, Goldstream is put into a district where its representative would be from Tok, yet the Eielson and Richardson part of the Fairbanks borough is put in with Farmers Loop,” he said. “The board should be working to put districts with as much socioeconomic similarity as they can instead of cracking and packing districts for partisan wins.”
Reps. Bart LeBon and Steve Thompson and Sens. Click Bishop and Robert Myers did not immediately respond for comment.
To view the approved map, view www.akredistrict.org.