The Alaska Redistricting Board will visit Ketchikan on Wednesday to present its final roster of redistricting maps to the community and solicit feedback as it works to redraw Alaska's political boundaries.
The meeting will be conducted "in a hybrid 'Open House' format with large, printed maps displayed while board members circulate among the participants to receive feedback and engage in discussions," according to the meeting announcement. "This also allows for the public to come and go as they please, mitigating COVID exposure as much as possible and providing more flexibility for open schedules.
"If the attendees want an opportunity to address the board members present, the Open House will be followed by the opportunity to give public testimony 'Town Hall' style," the announcement adds. "Input received from the attendees" would determine how much time is devoted to each portion of the meeting.
The meeting will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Ted Ferry Civic Center. It will not be teleconferenced or streamed, according to the meeting announcement, but public comments made during the meeting will be recorded, and there will be additional opportunities for public testimony in the future for those unable to attend.
Four of the board's five members will be present for the Ketchikan meeting, said Board Chair John Binkley on Thursday. Both of Gov. Mike Dunleavy's appointees to the board, Bethany Marcum and Budd Simpson, will be in Ketchikan for the open house, as will Nicole Borromeo, who was appointed by former Dillingham House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, and Binkley himself, who was appointed by former Anchorage Senate President Cathy Giessel.
Melanie Bahnke, the president and CEO of the Nome-based nonprofit Kawerak, will not attend Ketchikan's meeting on Wednesday, Binkley said. Bahnke was appointed to the board by Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Joel Borger.
After visiting the First City, the board on Thursday will travel to Wrangell and Petersburg to continue on its tour around the state to hear additional feedback on the map proposals.
The board has approved a final roster of six maps — two drawn by its own members, four drawn by third parties — that it will use to develop a final redistricting map for the state. The board must decide on a final map by Nov. 10.