Skip Navigation
Report

50 State Guide to Redistricting

Summary: Learn how redistricting is done in your state, or in other states. In some states, you may have a chance to influence the process by pushing for fair maps legislation.

Last Updated: June 7, 2019
Published: May 21, 2018

Once a decade after the census, every state redraws the districts used to elect members of the U.S. House of Repres­ent­at­ives and state legis­lat­ors – a process known as redis­trict­ing.

When draw­ing these lines, there are some require­ments in federal law that all states must follow. For example, all states must ensure that districts have approx­im­ately the same number of people and comply with the Voting Rights Act. But in other areas, each state has discre­tion over how to draw its own lines, and, more import­antly, over who will draw them – usually as stip­u­lated in the state’s consti­tu­tion.

Unfor­tu­nately, this discre­tion some­times results in redis­trict­ing abuses. For example, while some states use processes that check partisan excess, others allow for legis­lat­ors from a single party free rein to imple­ment biased maps that keep their party in power through good elec­tion cycles and bad. This manip­u­la­tion of maps is known as “gerry­man­der­ing.”

Redis­trict­ing also affects whether the nation’s diverse communit­ies are repres­en­ted in its legis­lat­ive bodies. The way district lines are drawn can keep a community together or split it apart, and can change whether a community has repres­ent­at­ives who feel respons­ible for its concerns. And just as maps can be manip­u­lated for partisan gain, they can be manip­u­lated to dilute the voice of or discrim­in­ate against communit­ies of color.

These abuses are anti­thet­ical to the found­ing gener­a­tion’s vision of Amer­ican demo­cracy. John Adams and the Framers of the Consti­tu­tion thought legis­lat­ive bodies should be “an exact Portrait, a Mini­ature, of the People at large.” In other words, redis­trict­ing is inten­ded to ensure districts are reflect­ive of the elect­or­ate.

You can use this guide to learn how redis­trict­ing is done in your state, or in other states. You also have a chance to influ­ence the process by push­ing for fair maps legis­la­tion or by parti­cip­at­ing in the next round of redis­trict­ing after the 2020 census.


50 State Guide to Redis­trict­ing

Gloss­ary of Terms
Congres­sional District Summary
State Legis­lat­ive District Summary
Full Guide With Cita­tions

 

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkan­sas

Cali­for­nia

Color­ado

Connecti­cut

Delaware

Flor­ida

Geor­gia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indi­ana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisi­ana

Maine

Mary­land

Massachu­setts

Michigan

Minnesota

Missis­sippi

Missouri

 

 

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hamp­shire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Caro­lina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Caro­lina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Wash­ing­ton

West Virginia

Wiscon­sin

Wyom­ing