• Jan Brewer and Arizona Republicans Impeach Redistricting Chair for Making Elections Competitive

    A major downside to democracy is the hassle of learning about the candidates, making an informed decision and hauling your overweight self to the nearest polling station. Which is why most states have dispensed with the irksomeness of competitive elections.

    Since the decennial redistricting process is typically in the hands of state legislatures, district boundaries are erratically redrawn to dilute or concentrate votes, ensuring that barely ten percent of Americans have to suffer through the indignity of learning about the issues and casting a statistically significant vote.

    But for some reason, Arizona voters adopted a ballot measure 11-years ago that took redistricting duties away from the legislature and assigned the responsibility to an independent commission comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent. This year, the Commission produced a draft map creating four safe Republican seats, two Democratic seats, and three evenly balanced districts.

    Clearly, someone had to think of the children, err, over-burdened voters

    Arizona's Senate on Tuesday night ousted the chairwoman of the citizens' commission charged with redrawing political boundaries, igniting a fierce legal battle over whether the state's Republican leaders were interfering in a redistricting process that voters sought to insulate from politics.

    Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, proposed the removal of Colleen C. Mathis, the chairwoman of the Independent Redistricting Commission, and the Republican-controlled State Senate voted 21 to 6 to carry it out.

    As Brewer noted in a letter to the Commission chair, "I believe the Independent Redistricting Commission also violated the Arizona Constitution by elevating 'competitiveness' above the other goals." Like the goal of Arizona voters never again having to worry about making a real electoral choice, I guess.

    Photo by Laura Segall/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Arizona, Impeachment, Jan Brewer, State Legislature


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