Speaker Tobin decries Obama DOJ for undermining Arizona’s Hispanic voters
Speaker Andy Tobin (Dist. 1)
April 26, 2012
The Obama Department of Justice just signed off on new redistricting maps that seriously weaken minority voting strength in Arizona’s legislative districts.
Ironically, under President George W. Bush, the DOJ objected to the legislative maps 10 years ago when they had even stronger Hispanic districts. The question then has to be asked, how much will this hurt Hispanic voters? Legislative results from the last ten years show that Hispanic voters have often been unable to elect Hispanic candidates from districts supposedly designed to give them majority voting strength.
In the face of obvious election-based evidence, the Independent Redistricting Committee should have enhanced Hispanic voting strength. Instead, it has deliberately and overtly moved to undermine it. The fact that Obama’s DOJ would rubber stamp this result and this process without so much as a question shows that the preclearance process has been hopelessly hijacked by a partisan and political agenda hostile to Hispanic voters.
The IRC’s maps break faith with the promise of the Voting Rights Act and they also have other legal problems they must answer for. I fully expect those legal infirmities to be the subject of future conversations. The IRC and the Obama Administration also owe the Hispanic Community an explanation and an apology. They should openly announce why they saw it necessary to shamelessly mute the voices of Arizona’s Hispanic voters.
Attached are supporting documents from the Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting which illustrate the historical severity and the potential electoral plight facing Arizona’s Hispanic voters.