Sunday, February 06, 2011

Independent Voters Second Biggest "Party" in Arizona

Independents take second place in Arizona and the tug-of-war over primaries and redistricting continues across the country, specifically in Utah, Iowa, and South Carolina.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Independents see surge in past decade, Candidates must work to attract voters (by Mary Jo Pitzl, ARIZONA REPUBLIC) That shifted in 1986, when Republicans pulled ahead. And late last month, independents edged Democrats to claim the spot of the second-biggest "party" in the state - behind Republicans - even though by definition, voters registered as "party not designated" are not a party.
OPEN PRIMARIES
REDISTRICTING
  • A unique approach to redistricting (By Steve Urbon, SouthCoast Today - MA) In a system far, far removed from what happens in Massachusetts, Iowa employs a special commission to devise three district maps that are then forwarded to the Legislature and eventually the governor. These maps can be rejected and redistricting can be done by the legislature, but in practice that hasn't happened.
  • Redistricting Roundup: Let the games begin, as census delivers first round of local population data (By Geoff Pallay, Ballot News) South Dakota and Utah, two states with Republican trifectas in state government, have Constitutions that assign responsibility for handling the diecennial procedure to the legislature. However, the lopsided GOP majorities have caused minority Democrats to sponsor bills hoping to change that by removing authority for redrawing political maps to independent commissions of citizen appointees. A bill introduced in last year’s Utah legislative session was swiftly killed in committee while South Dakota lawmakers, facing a similar piece of legislation, have indicated they will look to table the bill.
  • The real purpose of the redistricting process (EDITORIAL Macon.com - GA} However, while the parties preach drawing district lines that are sensible with promises to keep communities of interest together, that is really not on their agenda. Maintaining political power and guaranteeing their re-election, is.

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