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People Powered Fair Maps Overview

People Powered Fair MapsTM  is a national redistricting program of the League of Women Voters focused on creating fair political maps nationwide. The program includes actions in all 50 states + D.C. 

The work will look different in each state, but the program is comprised of five major focus areas:  

  1. Ballot Initiatives or Referendums 

  1. State Constitutional Options  

  1. State Legislative Fixes 

  1. Federal Legislative Fixes 

  1. Civic Engagement & Education 

Each state will engage in at least one of the four focus areas through advocacy, education, organizing and mobilization, partnerships, litigation, and/or protection/defensive action. 

League of Women Voters Redistricting Opportunities by State 
LWV Redistricting Opps by state

Focus Area 1: Ballot Initiatives or Referendums 

GOAL: Pass or protect a ballot measure implementing a fair redistricting process in 21 states 

This focus area of the project will have two objectives: leading campaigns for proactive redistricting reform and independent commissions; or supporting implementation for states that have previously passed initiatives. The goal centers on empowering voters in ballot initiative or referendum states to successfully pass a ballot measure, with LWV leading or influencing mass education campaigns to voters around the ballot language and the impact it will have in communities. 

2020 ballot opportunity states will focus on passing a ballot initiative for a fair redistricting process. Implementation states are those with existing independent redistricting commissions where Leagues may have to work to protect or defend the process. 

Working States 

F1 Working States
F1 Working States

Focus Area 2: State Constitutional Options 

GOAL: Achieve a favorable court ruling for a fair redistricting process through state constitution in 18 states 

This focus area identifies avenues for implementing fair redistricting processes through state constitutional provisions requiring “free and fair” redistricting processes. It prioritizes states that have state constitutional provisions similar to or consistent with the “free and fair” clause of the Pennsylvania constitution. This work will also prioritize any state facing threats, where our goal will be to support state Leagues in protecting their state constitution’s fair redistricting provisions. 

Background. In 2017, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania challenged Pennsylvania’s congressional districts. Pennsylvania was the site of arguably one of the worst gerrymanders in the country. Notably, the political demographics in Pennsylvania are evenly split, but the 2011 delegation was much more lopsided. The plaintiffs successfully argued that the district lines constituted a partisan gerrymander that violated several provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution, including the “free and equal elections” clause. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed and struck down the congressional district map. This case established a new and inventive approach which LWV is using as a template to accomplish similar protection in other states. 

Working States 

F2 Working States
F2 Working States

Focus Area 3: State Legislative Fixes 

GOAL: Pass or protect state laws implementing a fair redistricting process in 26 states 

This area of the project will have a two-fold approach at the state level: first, LWV will look for opportunities to improve public input in the redistricting process; and second, LWV will look for opportunities to move forward laws that increase transparency or mitigate laws that seek to remove transparency or alter existing criteria.  

Working States 

F3 Working States
F3 Working States

Focus Area 4: Federal Legislative Fixes 

GOAL: Pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, implementing fair redistricting processes nationwide 

At the federal level, LWV will work to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act and activate national momentum around putting protections in place in time for 2021 redistricting cycle. 

The League will rely on states with key representatives and senators to help move federal legislation forward. While all states can and will participate in the federal strategy at the direction of the national League, this focus area will rely on specific states who have limited participation in the above focus areas to offer an entry point into the program for all Leagues. 

Working States  

F4 Working States
F4 Working States

Focus Area 5: Civic Engagement & Education 

GOAL: Deepen U.S. residents’ education and engagement in their community around redistricting processes 

The prior focus areas cover much of the advocacy work within the program, but the civic engagement and education focus area is the foundation on which all other focus areas rest. In order to have a successful impact on redistricting efforts at the community level, the people impacted need to be involved. In order for people to get involved, they need to be comfortable communicating their needs as individuals and within a larger community with shared interests and values. State and local League leaders have become thought leaders and subject matter experts in redistricting with strong relationships with community leaders. Armed with this expertise and access, state and local Leagues will engage residents in creating awareness about redistricting, its importance, and the impact redistricting has on how their vote is counted. Leagues will do this in their immediate and adjacent communities and in coalition with community partners.  

The purpose of this effort is to educate and build confidence with individuals around community competence. When state residents feel ownership and an ability to exert influence over the decision process, there is a greater willingness to hold legislators and those leading the map drawing process accountable to them – not the other way around. Historically, there have been a variety of mechanisms to accomplish this: community forums, town halls, one-on-one interactions, and distribution of educational material—all activities that sit comfortably in League member’s wheelhouses. In sum, expertise is the intersection of skills, knowledge, and the ability to comfortably articulate information on a topic, so the League will work with communities to gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to demand a fair and transparent process.  

Working States 

All 50 States & District of Columbia 

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