Every voter in Pinal County to receive new voter ID cards after redistricting shuffles Arizona electoral map

Jeff Kronenfeld

People heading into the Eloy City Hall polling location.(Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

By Jeff Kronenfeld / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Pinal County, AZ) Recently, Pinal County voters started finding something new inside their mailboxes.

Mixed with all the letters, bills, and endless piles of junk mail are voter ID cards containing important information about voter precincts and congressional, legislative, supervisor, and judicial districts.

Due to a delay in releasing 2020 census data, this decade’s constitutionally required congressional and legislative redistricting process got off to a late start. Since districts must be roughly equal in size, as population shifts, so too must the number and shape of districts.

For the first time in seven decades, Arizona failed to increase its congressional delegation, meaning the state continues to hold just nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A map of Arizona's nine congressional districts.(Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission)

New congressional and legislative districts

Since state voters passed Proposition 106 in 2000, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has handled the state's redistricting.

The AIRC is required to create compact and contiguous districts of roughly equal size. In addition, they must respect communities of interest, create competitive districts when not a detriment to other goals, and incorporate visible geographic features like town, city, and county boundaries.

Finally, the AIRC must comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, though this provision has been curtailed by a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings and state laws.

The Republican commissioners — David Mehl and Douglas York — joined with the one nonpartisan commissioner — Erika Neuberg — to enact the new borders for the state's congressional and legislative districts on Jan. 24. They outvoted the Democratic commissioners — Shereen Lerner and Derrick Watchman — who opposed the plans.

Formerly divided three ways, the AIRC splintered Pinal County between four congressional districts.

Much of the county’s northwest portion was grouped into the 2nd Congressional District with Gila, Yavapai, Coconino, Navajo, and Apache County.

The 5th Congressional District lumped Apache Junction and San Tan Valley with parts of Maricopa County. Next, the AIRC merged Pinal's southeast corner with five other counties into the 7th Congressional District. Finally, they tacked Pinal's southwestern portion onto the 6th Congressional District with Greenlee County and parts of Pima, Cochise, and Graham County.

Pinal County also went from having six legislative districts to seven.

Pinal County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Jeff Serdy expressed concerns about the AIRC’s process. `

“It almost felt like whoever was in charge wanted to eliminate certain House and Senate seats,” Serdy said.

However, Pinal County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McClure had a different outlook.

“I don't have any issues with the way the AIRC worked,” McClure said. “That's open to anybody's opinion, whether they like it or they don't like it, because they cross county lines and funny boundaries, and the AIRC, that's a tough job that I would not want.”

A map of Pinal County's five supervisor districts.(Pinal County Communications Department)

Supervisor districts and voter precincts

Shifts in population distributions and the new boundaries drawn by the AIRC led to some significant changes in the shape of Pinal County’s five supervisor districts.

District 1 formerly covered most of the county's eastern half. Now it occupies the county’s northwest corner, including Maricopa, plus portions of Queen Creek and Coolidge.

Wedged in the middle of the north part of the county, District 2 changed less. It includes portions of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley, though it no longer contains parts of Florence.

District 3 remains on the county's west side, though it shifted from the northwest corner to the southwest one. It includes most of Casa Grande and parts of Coolidge and Eloy.

The county’s southwest corner was formerly occupied by District 4, which now covers the southeast corner, extending towards the center and encompassing parts of Florence. Red Rock, Saddlebrooke, Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth are also within that district.

Finally, District 5, formerly in the center of the county's northernmost portion, expanded eastward and southward. It includes Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Valley, Top-of-the-World, Superior, Kearny, Winkelman, and Dudleyville.

Serdy represents District 5 and felt the county did a decent job dividing itself.

“It's more of how it should have been set up all along,” Serdy said.

Pinal County added eight voter precincts and lost one, bringing its total number of voter precincts to 109.

A sticker for voters.(Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

Importance of new voter ID cards

Serdy stressed the need for Pinal County voters to keep their eyes peeled for their new voter ID cards.

“A lot of people will say, ‘well, I already have my voter ID,’ and they may throw it away, but it shows that your precinct and your district have changed,” Serdy explained. “So, it is kind of important to keep that.”

McClure echoed his fellow supervisor's sentiment regarding the significance of the voter ID card.

“I think they should just be aware of their new voter ID card and, again, which legislative district they're in, which congressional district they're in,” McClure said. “That would, of course, help them to know who to watch in the news and who to keep up on, so they know who to vote for.”

All the new voter ID cards for Pinal County should have arrived or are on their way, according to Dana Lewis, assistant to the Recorder of Pinal County. If you haven’t received your voter ID card by June 13, call the Voter Registration Department at 520-866-6830.

To find out how redistricting impacted you, visit Pinal County’s District and Voter Precinct Finder and enter your address in the box in the upper left corner.

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Jeff is an award-winning freelance journalist covering news, business, science and the arts. His work has been published in Discover Magazine, Vice, the Phoenix New Times and other outlets.

Tempe, AZ

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