Tag Archives: arizona

What is Preclearance?

The Voting Rights Act was enacted to make “the promise of the right to vote under the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution a reality, ninety-five years after [its] passage”. Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, sixteen states are required to submit any redistricting plans to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance. Preclearance is defined as the process of seeking U.S. Department of Justice approval for all changes related to voting. Section 5 of the Act requires that the United States Department of Justice or a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for District of Columbia “preclear” any attempt to change “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting…” in any “covered jurisdiction”. Continue Reading

Arizona Redistricting: The Commission’s Final Map and Its Implications for November

On January 17th, Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) officially approved the state’s new Congressional districts.  The vote was a major milestone in this year’s particularly tumultuous redistricting process.  The Commission split along party lines, with the two Democratic members supporting the redistricting plan and the two Republican members opposing it.  Independent Chairwoman Colleen Mathis cast her swing vote in favor of the plan, making the final vote 3-2.

Continue Reading

Arizona State Senate impeaches redistricting commission chair

On Tuesday, the majority-Republican Arizona State Senate voted to impeach the chair of the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission, Colleen Mathis. Republicans have accused Mathis, who is a registered independent, of being overly partisan and too secretive about the Commission’s business. The party-line vote was 21-6 to impeach Mathis, the sole independent on the Commission. Continue Reading