Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission would expand to nine members from five if a ballot measure filed last week gets voter approval. The “5 to 9” committee, headed by former lawmaker Doug Quelland, would also limit any political party to three seats on the panel, as well as a three-seat limit on individuals not registered with a party. Currently, the commission is comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent. In the wake of controversy surrounding this decade’s redistricting commission, critics argued if the panel had more members there would be broader representation and less concentrated power in the chairman.
Like the current system, the proposed amendment to Arizona’s Constitution would require the chairman be one of the individuals appointed to the commission, and picked by a unanimous vote of the other commissioners. But unlike the current panel, “5 to 9” would require the chairman to be a member of the largest registered party or “status” (such as independent) in the state.
If applied today, that would mean the chairman would be an independent. Although current Chairman Colleen Mathis is an independent, the voter-approved measure that created the commission does not require the chair to be from the dominant political bloc.
Full Article: Plan touts expanded, less-partisan redistricting panel.