Redistricting 101

A Citizen’s Guide to RedistrictingThe Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law’s comprehensive Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting explains the various processes and criteria that govern redistricting across the fifty states.Midwest Mapping Project

Dr. Michael McDonald, one of the principles of the Public Mapping Project, published the Midwest Mapping Project Report, which analyzes the potential effects of various redistricting criteria on state legislative and congressional districts in five Midwestern states. The report illuminates how these criteria may potentially affect redistricting in other states.

Public Education Forum Discussion of the Citizen’s Guide and Midwest Mapping Project

On Oct. 22, 2009 a public forum was held in Chicago, IL where materials from the Citizen’s Guide and the Midwest Mapping Project were discussed. Links to video from the forum are below.

Redistricting 101: Justin Levitt, the Brennan Center for Justice
Section 1: What is it and when does it happen?
Section 2: Why should you care about it?
Section 3: Who actually draws the lines?
Section 4: Where do they draw the lines?
Section 5: How can you influence the census and redistricting?
Powerpoint Presentation
Midwest Mapping Project: Michael McDonald, George Mason University
Section 1: Redistricting Criteria
Section 2: Redistricting Practicalities and Census Geography
Section 3: Census Geography and Election Boundaries
Section 4: Racial Communities
Section 5: Existing State Constitutional and Statutory Rules
Powerpoint Presentation
Audience Questions and Answers
Section 1: See Link for Description of Questions
Section 2: See Link for Description of Questions
Section 3: See Link for Description of Questions
Section 4: See Link for Description of Questions

Gerrymandering: A Documentary Film 
Now showing at film festivals across the country, scheduled to be in theaters the fall of 2010, and will be released on DVD in early 2011, the Gerrymandering documentary film lays out the pathologies of partisan gerrymandering whereby districts are drawn to favor politicians, not the public.AEI-Brookings Project on Redistricting

This joint project
is an effort to encourage communications and lesson-sharing among those engaged in redistricting reform initiatives around the country. It will promote public participation, greater transparency, and a more open process by formal redistricting authorities.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice or District Court of DC are required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to assess – for special “covered” states – if a redistricting plan negatively affects minority representation. All states must adhere to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires the creation of special majority-minority districts in certain circumstances. The Department of Justice describes these important rules in detail.

Redistricting the Nation

Azavea, the software company developing our software’s user interface, has created this district look-up tool for congressional and state legislative districts.

Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program

The Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program is an essential source of geographic and population data for redistricting.