Redistricting in America

Redistricting Map

What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the regular process of adjusting the lines of voting districts in accordance with population shifts. For many states, this means redrawing congressional and state legislative district lines every ten years following the decennial census. In the modern era of redistricting, all district lines must be reviewed after the census to meet strict requirements for population equality and voting rights protections.

How does redistricting differ from reapportionment?
Reapportionment is the process of reassigning congressional seats among the states after the Census. Once Census 2010 population counts were released, the number of representatives each state could send to Congress was determined. At that point, reapportionment was over and redistricting had begun! All states, even those that did not gain or lose districts, still must redraw district boundaries in order to match internal population shifts. The end goal? Equal numbers of people in every district, nationwide.

What is gerrymandering?
Gerrymandering is the act of redrawing district lines to influence elections to favor a particular party, candidate, ethnic group. While the Voting Rights Act strongly protects against racial gerrymanders, manipulating the lines to favor a political party is common. In other cases, the parties work together to draw a plan that favors the incumbents of both parties.


Previous Rose Institute redistricting publications: 
The Rose Institute has a long history of engaging with the redistricting process by creating maps, researching reforms, and analyzing demographic changes. Attached below are a few previous Rose Institute redistricting publications.

The 2010 Census and California’s 2011 Redistricting (2010 December 8)

The 2010 Census: Congressional Reapportionment (2009 October 15)

Douglas Johnson’s Statement to the California State Assembly Hearing on Redistricting Reform (2007 May 30)

Restoring the Competitive Edge: California’s Need for Redistricting Reform and the Likely Impact of Proposition 77  (2005 September 26)

Analyzing Redistricting: Prop. 77 Wouldn’t Greatly Benefit Either Party (2005 September 25)

California Statewide Survey on Redistricting (April 2005)

Governing California in the 21st Century – Redistricting Reform in California (2004 February)

The Political Consequences of Redistricting: Three Scenarios in 2001 (2001 March 6) 

Who Guards the Guardians? Monograph Series on Redistricting (1990)

Who Guards the Guardians? A Preview A.C.T.I.O.N. Guidelines for Redistricting (1989)

Initiatives for Reform of the Redistricting Process in California (1989 September)

Redistricting and its Reform: An Introduction (1989)

Introduction to Redistricting: Perspectives for Latinos (1989)

Carving Up California: A History of Redistricting, 1951-1984 (1988)

Reapportionment and Redistricting in Other Countries (1981)

Reapportionment in Pennsylvania (1981)

California Redistricting (1980)

Redistricting: Shaping Government for a Decade (1980)

Redistricting: The Key to Politics in the 1980s (1980)

The 1980 Census and “One-Man-One-Vote”: Do We Know What Fair Representation Is? (1980)

Still Unequal: The Failure of One Man-One Vote to Achieve Fair Representation (1980)


Expert Reports from Partisan Gerrymandering Cases

North Carolina: 

Expert First Rebuttal Declaration of M V Hood III

Expert Report of James G Gimpel

Expert Report of Jonathan Mattingly

Expert Report of Jowei Chen

Expert Report of Sean P Trende

Expert Report of Simon Jackman

Expert Second Rebuttal Declaration of M V Hood III

Wisconsin Coming Soon…


For more information on redistricting:
The Brennan Center’s “A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting 2010 Edition”
NAACP, MALDEF, and Asian-American Justice Center’s “The Impact of Redistricting in YOUR Community”