Alaska’s redistricting plan has won approval from the U.S. Justice Department. That’s the first step before the plan can be implemented.
Under federal voting rights law, the plan can’t weaken the ability of the Alaska Native community to elect candidates of their choosing. The redistricting board needed at least nine districts in which an Alaska Native or a Native-backed candidate was likely to be elected to maintain the seats held by those candidates after the 2000 redistricting.
The Justice Department gave its pre-approval Tuesday. The redistricting board’s executive director, Taylor Bickford, called it a significant milestone. But the plan still faces a challenge in state court and must be upheld before it can be implemented.