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Redistricting

Congressional districts and government legislative bodies should be apportioned substantially on population. We oppose partisan and racial gerrymandering that strips rights away from voters.

Why it matters

Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. When done for purposes of racial discrimination or to ensure the dominance of one political party, gerrymandering runs counter to equal voting rights for all eligible voters.

What we're doing

We promote transparent and accountable redistricting processes and to end hyper-partisan practices that don't benefit constituents. We believe responsibility for fair redistricting should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government. The League works in states across the country to pass ballot initiatives to institute independent redistricting commissions.  

Redistricting In Depth

Evenwel v. Abbott, a case out of Texas, has the potential to upset the criteria for drawing state and local legislative districts so that they would be determined by the total number of voters instead of total population. The League submitted an amicus brief in Evenwel that supports the current practice of drawing district lines.

The LWVUS recently submitted an amicus curiae brief with other groups to the Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott.

Predictable Results: A Report from the League of Women Voters of Ohio Comparing 2011 Gerrymandering to the 2012 and 2014 Election Results, concluded that Ohio’s legislative districts are rigged to yield completely predictable results.

I will be stepping down in a few weeks after 15 years as the League’s executive director. I am confident that the League will continue its work to make American democracy as good as the ideals on which the country was founded.

The League joined national civil rights, voting rights, labor and criminal justice organizations in submitting comments to the Census Bureau asking that incarcerated persons be counted at their home address, rather than the prison facility they occupy on census day. The League believes that if the Census Bureau modified its residence rule with respect to incarcerated persons, all states and localities will have the opportunity to more accurately and equitably reflect the incarcerated population in their redistricting plans.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a big victory for citizen-led democracy. In a 5-4 decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the Court found that voters can set up independent redistricting commissions.

“The Arizona legislature argued that only they can conduct federal redistricting under the U.S. Constitution. Today, the Court rejected that argument, reasoning that the initiative power of the people of Arizona was a valid exercise of legislative power,” said President MacNamara.

The League’s advocacy work in the courts, just like our lobbying in Congress and with the Executive, builds our influence in the political process.

The League joined an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.