Alaskans for Fair Redistricting, a group that submitted a plan to the board, says it doesn't make sense to put those districts together.
"There's no community of interest between Kodiak and Ketchikan. They're far apart. Or Ketchikan and Valdez, and yet they've made a Senate pairing with those two areas," said Vince Beltrami, co-chair of the group. "You can make a good case for senate districts contiguous, touching each other, and common interests, than doing something to take parts from way divergent geographic areas and pairing them together."
The board also came up with alternatives that can be included in either of the two statewide plans.
In Southeast Alaska, splitting Haines and Skagway or keeping the two together in one district are options. A potential Southcentral shakeup involves dividing Wasilla along the Parks Highway or using city limits to draw the lines.
"The Mat-Su and Southeast, there were two equally good plans and the board just thought, 'Let's go out and get some public comment on them, and see what the residents of the area think about one plan or the other,'" Torgerson said.
Torgerson says Anchorage remained relatively the same.
Randy Ruedrich heads Alaskans for Fair and Equitable Redistricting, a separate group from Alaskans for Fair Redistricting. He believes natural features and major highways should be used to draw the lines in Anchorage.
"We need to have boundaries make sense because if the candidate isn't sure we are creating a challenge for the voter," said Ruedrich, who also serves as chair of the Alaska Republican Party.
Public hearings on the draft redistricting plans will begin on Monday. Here is a list of hearings:
Anchorage: Monday, April 18 at 2 p.m. at the Legislative Information Office, Room 220.
Fairbanks: Tuesday, April 19 at 2 p.m. at the Fairbanks City Council Chambers, 2nd floor.
Juneau: Wednesday, April 20 at 1 p.m. at the Capitol Building.
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