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Congress: Filibuster, Redistricting. 10/10/07. Electing Representatives. Reapportionment Redistricting. Reapportionment. The process of re-dividing the 435 seats of the United States House of Representatives, based upon each state's proportion of the national population.

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Electing representatives
Electing Representatives

  • Reapportionment

  • Redistricting


  • The process of re-dividing the 435 seats of the United States House of Representatives, based upon each state's proportion of the national population.

  • The preceding census is the baseline for determining how many House seats are allotted to each state.


  • The process by which the boundaries of state legislative districts and United States House districts are drawn to reflect population shifts.

  • Each state has a different method for redistricting.

Issues in redistricting
Issues in Redistricting

  • Gerrymandering

  • Geopolitical concerns

  • Minority voting strength

  • Equal Representation


  • The manipulation of electoral districts is known as gerrymandering.

Geopolitical concerns
Geopolitical Concerns

  • In 1842, the Reapportionment Act required that congressional districts be contiguous and compact.





Minority voting strength
Minority Voting Strength

  • Minority dilution

    • Weakening of the minority vote in an existing district by splitting the minority vote among multiple new districts.

    • Outlawed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act

  • Minority packing

    • Taking existing minorities from multiple districts and packing them into one new district.

    • Court cases have ruled against these districts.

    • But racial gerrymandering still occurs.

Equal representation
Equal Representation

  • In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that districts must follow the principle of "one man, one vote”

  • Each district should have 646,952 residents

  • Difficult to achieve in states with one representative (Ex: Montana)

But one man one vote does not hold in the senate
But “One Man, One Vote” Does Not Hold in the Senate

  • Residents in low population states receive more representation:

    • Sen. Feinstein (CA) represents 35 million people

    • Sen. Enzo (WY) represents 500,000 people

  • Minorities under-represented:

    • 26 smallest states (in terms of population) have 11% of the nation’s African-American and Latino residents

    • The 9 largest (population) states have a majority of ALL people in the nation and 30% of the African-American and Latino population.

  • Is there a principle that justifies entitlement to extra representation for some groups?

In washington state
In Washington State

  • Until 1985, redistricting happened through legislative action

  • Legislature refused to redistrict through the 1970s

  • Court-imposed redistricting in 1972

  • Since 1990s, independent, bipartisan commission does redistricting