Lawsuit Filed Over Redistricting Plan

A group of Alaska Natives are suing to keep state election officials from implementing a redistricting plan until that plan wins U.S. Justice Department approval.

The plaintiffs, in a federal lawsuit filed last week, claim state officials are violating the federal voting rights act by moving forward in implementing a new plan for this year’s elections before the plan wins preclearance from Justice.

The lawsuit names Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai as defendants.

The Alaska Redistricting Board asked Justice to review the plan after the state Supreme Court last month signed off on it for the 2012 elections. Candidates filed to run based on the boundaries of that plan.

Any plan must pass muster both with the courts and Justice.