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Fair District Maps

Fair District Maps

The League of Women Voters believes in representative government...

LWV of the United States Principles

The League of Women Voters believes responsibility for redistricting preferably should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government, including citizens at large, representatives of public interest groups, and members of minority groups.

LWV of the United States Impact on the Issues 2016-2018

Support timely redistricting based substantially on population and affective all state and local government bodies.

Support regular and equitable reapportionment, with definite procedures established to ensure prompt redistricting by the legislature or by a reapportionment commission.

LWV Minnesota Program for Action 2017-2019

Every ten years, states undertake a process called "redistricting." During this process, electoral maps are redrawn to account for changes in populations in different geographic locations. The new maps must create legislative and congressional districts that are almost exactly equal in population. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of district boundaries during this process for some sort of political advantage. Gerrymandering has been used historically to protect incumbents, dilute the voting power of communities, and entrench partisan control despite political disfavor.

In Minnesota, the legislature controls the redistricting process. In theory, a set of distric maps would be approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate, then signed into law by the Governor. But sometimes those parties cannot agree. They might think a map has been gerrymandered or puts their party at a disadvantage. When those parties cannot agree before their deadline, they rely on a court to draw the maps. Usually a court appoints a panel of judges to use the legislature's proposed maps to create a final impartial map.