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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.
- Paul Anderson, former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Nick Harper, Civic Engagement Manager for LWV Minnesota, spoke on a panel about the history of redistricting and potential reforms, which was sponsored by LWV St. Louis Park in March 2018.
- Partisan Gerrymandering at the US Supreme Court: Gill v. Whitford. This one-page brief published in October of 2017 explains partisan gerrymandering in the context of the Gill v. Whitford case before the Supreme Court.
- LWVUS's 2011 whitepaper Shining the Light: Redistricting Lessons Learned in 2011 reviewed the experience of the 2011 redistricting cycle and examines possible reform.
- LWV Minnesota's 2009 Briefing Paper on Redistricing, including methods of reform.
- The U.S. Department of Justice website covers all federal laws relating to redistricitng, including every aspect of the Voting Rights Act.
- The Brennan Center for Justice is an excellent source of information about all aspects of redistricting.
- In June 2005, the Campaign Legal Center and the Council for Excellence in Government held a conference at which participants developed a consensus on seven broad principles for improving the way most states conduct redistricting. The conference generated the report The Shape of Representative Democracy.
- In April 2006, LWVUS convened a second conference with the above two organizations to discuss strategies for promoting redistricting reform nationwide. The conference generated the report Building a National Redistricting Reform Movement.