A group of Alaska Natives wants a federal court to stop the state from using what it calls an “illegal” redistricting plan for the 2012 election. Uncertain is what effect the lawsuit, reqAlauesting a preliminary injunction to stop that plan, will have on the Division of Election’s efforts to hold an Aug. 28 primary elections. That election would use newly drawn boundaries for the state’s 40 voting districts. Those boundaries were approved under an emergency redistricting plan that received the blessing of the state Supreme Court to allow the 2012 elections to go forward. With the lines redrawn, elections will take place for 59 of Alaska’s 60 legislative seats.
The Alaska Supreme Court’s approval is not enough, and the state has already taken steps it shouldn’t have, says the suit. The U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court in Columbia needs to sign off on the redistricting plan that’s before the Justice Department now. The four plaintiffs in the lawsuit want that plan replaced, at least for now, going back to the same districts the state has used for the last decade.