The Alaska Supreme Court has rejected a request by the Alaska Redistricting Board to use its original redistricting plan for this year’s statewide elections, instead ordering the use of one amended after court decisions as an interim plan. The redistricting plan has been subjected to several legal challenges, with judges rejecting both an initial plan and a revised one in recent months. In its ruling on the original plan, the state Supreme Court said it improperly prioritized compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act over the state constitution, sending the plan back to be redrafted.
The revised plan preferred by the high court as an interim measure was rejected last month by Superior Court Judge Michael P. McConahy, who said the board ignored the supreme court’s ruling and reused many districts in its revisions. The redistricting board’s executive director, Taylor Bickford, said Thursday night that the board had recommended using the original plan because it had received Voting Rights Act preclearance from theU.S. Justice Department. The amended plan has not yet received preclearance, although Bickford was confident that it would do so.