Release: IRC Entrusts Arizona’s Maps to GOP Gerrymandering Firm with String of Court Losses
PHOENIX –– Yesterday, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, by a vote of 3-2, selected Timmons Group/NDC as the mapping consultant without a single vote from Democratic commissioners. NDC is a Republican-leaning firm with a long history of court-discarded maps and testimony, including in Arizona.
NDC/Timmons Group’s application was opposed by over a thousand members of the public as well as major nonpartisan organizations, including the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, the League of Women Voters, and One Arizona. All on the Line, a National Democratic Redistricting Committee project, submitted over 1,000 signatures to the IRC opposing NDC/Timmons Group’s application.
Opposition to NDC/Timmons stems from the multitude of cases in which the firm and its President, Doug Johnson, were found to have worked against the interests of communities of color, as well as the number of courts who determined Mr. Johnson’s analyses and testimony to be “not credible” and “insufficient.”
Arizona Democratic Party Chair, Raquel Terán released the following statement:
“The decision by the IRC Chair and Republican Commissioners to hire NDC, despite their appalling record, is a complete affront to the concerns of voting rights advocates and a total disregard for the public trust in the integrity of the eventual maps.
“This vote has exposed which voters have the ear and attention of those Commissioners and which do not. On top of the choice to hire a partisan Republican Executive Director with insufficient experience and an unexplained $63,000 payday from the 2020 McSally campaign, this decision has set a precedent and tone for the work ahead that is deeply troubling.
“Governor Ducey and the Republican Party have worked for years to undermine an independent process which Arizona voters overwhelmingly voted into law 20 years ago. Rather than uphold the independence of this Commission, they have done all they can to serve the interests of the Arizona Republican Party above all. Beginning with the stacking of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments with Republican operatives, and this indefensible selection, they have aimed to compromise yet another of Arizona’s sacred democratic institutions.
“The eyes of the state and the nation will be on this Commission. This decision shows that Republicans may have corrupted this process before it started. We hope that’s not the case.”