Arizona lawmaker proposes stricter rules for legislative districts. Critics say it hurts diversity

Legislative District 7 is bigger than Indiana — and by most accounts, more scenic.

From Peach Springs in the northwestern part of the state, it extends east along the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, the Four Corners and south to Alpine.

It is the only legislative district where a majority of residents are Native American.

It also has fewer residents than any other district in the state.

While each of the state’s 30 legislative districts include somewhere around 210,000 residents, the population of the districts can vary by thousands.

District 7 had 203,026 residents when its boundaries were set in 2011. The biggest district in the state — the Southeast Valley's District 12, including Gilbert and Queen Creek — had 221,735 residents.

Some state legislators argue that residents of smaller districts, such as District 7, are overrepresented at the Capitol while residents of bigger districts have had their voices diluted.

Under a proposed constitutional amendment approved along party lines by the Senate on Wednesday, District 7 simply would not exist as it does today.

To read the full complete article, please click here.

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