2022 Elections: Did your Congressional district change this year? Here's the reason why

Some voters in this year's election may notice that they are now in a totally different congressional district, when compared to elections in years past.

Here's what to know about why that is happening.

Why am I in a different congressional district?

Unless you moved to a different part of the city, or to a different part of Arizona, the reason why you are in a different congressional district for this year's election is because of redistricting.

Redistricting? What is that?

Under Arizona's Constitution, the state is required to establish an independent redistricting commission to redraw congressional and state legislative district boundaries every 10 years.

The duty of redrawing Arizona's district boundaries, according to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's website, used to fall on the Arizona State Legislature. The current method of using an independent commission for redistricting was established after voters approved Proposition 106 in the November 2000 election.

The first time an independent redistricting commission was assembled was in 2001. Another commission was assembled in 2011.

What's the purpose of redistricting?

According to the AIRC's website, the purpose of redistricting is to reflect the results of the most recent census.

Arizona did not gain a Congressional seat following the 2020 Census, but boundary adjustments were still made. In addition, new boundaries were drawn for the various districts of the Arizona State Legislature.

The final, official map was adopted in January 2022.

What were the criteria for redistricting?

According to AIRC's website, the commission, which consists of two Republicans, two Democrats, and an independent chairperson, has the following criteria when it comes to redistricting:

  • Districts that are roughly equal in population
  • Factors related to the Voting Rights Act, passed in 1965, that bans "any voting standards, practices, or procedures that result in the denial or abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color."
  • District shape
  • Geographic features
  • Respect for communities of interest
  • Potential competitiveness

Do other states have redistricting?

States that have more than one congressional district go through a redistricting process, but not all are done by a redistricting commission.

According to a June 2022 Associated Press article, only 10 states have independent commissions that draw lines for Congressional districts.

What happened with the new congressional boundaries?

In December 2021, it was reported that the new boundaries creates four solidly Republican districts, two where Democrats are likely to dominate and three that could be relatively competitive, based on metrics the commission uses to measure competitiveness.

Of the potentially competitive districts, one strongly favors Democrats and two lean toward Republicans based on their voting patterns in nine past elections.

The state's Congressional district were also renumbered. For example, people in Flagstaff used to be in District 1, under the map that was approved in 2012. Under the new map, they are in District 2. The new District 2 covers many, but not all, of the same territories as the old District 1.

Some parts of the state were actually grouped into a different district altogether. For example, people in parts of southern Cochise County were in District 2, under the map that was approved in 2012. In the new map, they are in District 7, with District 7 covering much of, but not all, of the territories that used to be District 3 in the 2012 map.

Which congressional districts are now considered to be competitive?

According to the December 2021 article, the district currently represented by Ann Kirkpatrick (D), and the district currently represented by David Schweikert (R) are now considered to be the state's battleground district.

An East Valley District including Tempe, Mesa, Ahwatukee and part of Chandler is considered marginally competitive under the commission’s metrics, though voters there have elected Democrats in eight of nine races analyzed by the commission.

What about the state legislative districts?

The legislative map includes four competitive districts in the northern and eastern parts of the Phoenix metro area.

Under Arizona's constitution, there are 30 legislative districts, with the people living in each district selecting one senator and two representatives.

Where can I see the maps?

You can check out the new maps here. The old map, as approved in 2012, can be checked out here.

What district am I in now?

You can find which Congressional district you are in by searching for your voter information on the Arizona Secretary of State's website.

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