A guide to redistricting
Every 10 years, the U.S. government tries to count everyone in the country. That data is then used to redraw district lines from which most elected officials - members of Congress, state legislators, county commissioners, mayors, city council members, school board members – run for office. The district boundaries are redrawn at least once per decade.
How and where those districts are drawn determines if your community can get equitable electoral representation. Who you elect impacts whether the official responds to your community’s needs.
One way to draw lines is to pack all people with similar needs or concerns into a few districts. Another way is to distribute like-minded people among several districts. The way you draw the lines can keep communities with similar interests together thereby influencing whether the elected official feels responsible for addressing the community’s needs.
Redistricting is an important process because it ultimately impacts who gets elected, whether who gets elected reflects the community and whether the official needs your community’s support.
WHAT IS REDISTRICTING?
- Redistricting means “line-drawing” of legislative districts.
- Redistricting affects many election district lines in the United States.
- Political District size and line-drawing “Re-calibrates” America’s political power every 10 years
Levels of Redistricting
- States draw Congressional Plans
- States draw State Legislative Plans for state assembly and state senate Districts
- Local counties / cities / towns / boards draw maps for: city, county, school board districts, and for water, utilities, judicial and other districts.