Lawsuit filed on behalf of Calista Corporation, a regional Native corporation, and two residents of the Calista region against the Alaska Redistricting Board challenging the state’s new legislative maps. The complaint focuses on how the Calista region in southwest Alaska was drawn into new districts, arguing that the board did not put communities with strong socioeconomic ties in the same districts. The plaintiffs argue that the new state House and Senate districts dilute the voting strength of the region’s Native voters “by placing them in districts with different social, political, and economic concerns” in violation of the Alaska and U.S. Constitutions and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint asks the court to block the use of the new legislative maps and order the creation of new maps that keep communities with shared interests together. The case was consolidated with four other lawsuits challenging the new legislative districts; all filings can be viewed here.
After a trial was held, the court determined that there were deficiencies with the new legislative map, including that certain distinct communities were unnecessarily grouped together and the Board did not follow public testimony and hearing guidelines in violation of the Alaska Constitution, and remanded it to the Board to address the issues. The Calista plaintiffs did not appeal this decision.