Maricopa County has been holding online public input meetings this week on redrawing its precincts using updated U.S. Census data.
Meetings held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday allowed the public to comment on precincts in Maricopa County Supervisor districts 1, 2 and 4. District 3, the northern Valley district represented by Bill Gates, is set to be the subject of a 4 p.m. meeting Friday.
Monday, Sept. 13, the fifth and final district will be the subject of an online meeting. At 4 p.m., Reprecincting of District 5, the southwestern part of the county represented by Steve Gallardo, will be the subject of a 4:30 p.m. on that day.
Sign up for either the Friday or Monday meetings here: recorder.maricopa.gov/reprecincting/#tabs=2
According to a news release, voting precincts are the geographic area used to report election results and serve as one of the building blocks the county uses to determine what’s on each election ballot and to prepare for elections.
Reprecincting happens whenever the geographic boundary lines of the precinct are redrawn to align with changes to federal, state and local district lines, to accommodate population growth and to evenly distribute population among precincts. This typically happens every 10 years; the results of the 2020 U.S. Census were recently released.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is responsible for redrawing congressional and legislative district lines every 10 years after the U.S. Census results are released.
However, Arizona counties are responsible for updating voting precincts, justice court precincts and Board of Supervisors district boundaries.
There are three phases to the redistricting process.
Voting precinct lines will be updated by Oct. 1, followed by aligning the precincts with information approved by the Independent Redistricting Commission in early 2022 to ensure precincts don’t overlap two or more congressional or legislative district boundaries.
The third and final phase — redrawing the Board of Supervisors districts — is set to take place in spring and summer 2022. The deadline to complete this phase of the process is July 1, 2022.
The first phase must account for a number of obstacles that include a handful of homes or apartment complexes that were built directly on top of a precinct boundary and the aiming point of 5,000 voters per precinct.
Maricopa County’s massive population growth during the past 10 years means some precincts now have considerably more than 10,000 voters each, the county said.
The Independent Redistricting Commission has finished its listening meetings and has moved on to monthly online meetings.
The commission is next set to meet Tuesday, Sept. 14, 8 a.m. That meeting can be watched here: youtube.com/watch?v=hSv38dNlX00
The IRC’s Aug. 31 meeting can be watched here: youtube.com/watch?v=6r8fnw_Fqo8