What is redistricting?
Every ten years the U.S. completes its census, which helps to determine not just the overall population, but also how federal congressional districts are apportioned. The census determines whether states gain or lose congressional seats based on their state population relative to other states and each state that has more than one congressional district is then tasked with drawing the lines for the new districts. The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 seats that are allotted among the 50 states.
Each state varies in how they may decide the lines – some have commissions, some are determined by the state legislature – though each district must have an equal population. Once a map is created, it is submitted for approval usually by the state legislature, though even after a state approves its map, they may face legal challenges in courts.
How does redistricting affect me?
Almost every state had to redraw the boundary lines for districts this year based on the 2020 census. Because of that, the congressional district for your address may have changed.
Until a state finalizes its new congressional map, primary elections cannot be held and the dates and deadlines for said primaries are often pushed back. This year many states are seeing legal challenges to their redistricting maps. Several states have already pushed back the date of their primaries to allow time for completion of a map.
Go in depth and read more about the redistricting process here.
Join our movement
Learn more about issues impacting our communities and economy.