In the final two weeks of 2021, the highest redistricting stakes are in three crucial states with independent commissions: Arizona, California and Michigan. All three are racing against late December deadlines to finalize maps, and all three are poised to be rare hotbeds of competition — California owing to its sheer size and prohibition on partisan data, and Arizona and Michigan because they're the only two large swing states with commissions.


On December 16, the independent chair of Arizona's five-member bipartisan commission, Erika Neuberg, sided with the commission's two Democrats to proceed with the body's late October draft map as a starting point for final negotiations (the commission's goal for completing new maps is December 22). Her vote surprised some observers, as Neuberg has sided with the two Republicans on most major votes, including on legislative districts.

In truth, the draft Neuberg voted for isn't a dream map for either Democrats or Republicans. A GOP proposal Neuberg rejected Thursday would have likely converted the delegation from 5D-4R to 6R-3D by making Democratic seats in Northern Arizona and Tucson much

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