A recent opinion piece in the Arizona Daily Star by Steve Lynn, the head of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, calls the commission’s work a success. Mr. Lynn particularly highlights the improved competition in Congressional districts:
Over the last four elections, voter loyalties have shifted, both nationally and in Arizona. The Republican trends of 2002 and 2004 were followed by Democratic waves in 2006 and 2008. A goal when drawing districts is to ensure that election winners change as voter sympathies change. The districts drawn by the commission have achieved this goal.At the congressional level, the same district map that brought about the election of six Republicans and two Democrats in 2002 resulted in the election of five Democrats and three Republicans in 2008. Since two of Arizona’s congressional districts are highly Democratic due to the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act, this three-district swing has occurred among the six remaining districts.