By The Associated Press
5:51 PM AKDT, May 25, 2012
The Alaska Redistricting Board is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to approve a plan redrawing the state's political boundaries.
Friday's move was expected, after a divided state Supreme Court earlier this week gave its approval for this year's elections to be conducted under the plan.
Under the federal voting rights law, a redistricting plan cannot weaken the Alaska Native community's ability to elect candidates of their choosing. The board believes its proposal satisfies that requirement.
Meanwhile, an attorney for two Fairbanks-area residents has asked the Alaska Supreme Court to stay implementation of the plan until Justice gives preclearance.
The preclearance process can take up to 60 days, though the board is seeking expedited consideration.
The candidate filing deadline in Alaska is June 1.