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Redistricting 101. Justin Levitt League of Women Voters of Illinois February 6, 2010. Today’s conversation. What? Why? Who? Where? How?. Today’s conversation. What? Why? Who? Where? How?. What is “redistricting”?.

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Redistricting 101

Redistricting 101

Justin LevittLeague of Women Voters of IllinoisFebruary 6, 2010


Today s conversation
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?


Today s conversation1
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?


What is redistricting
What is “redistricting”?

  • Draw (and re-draw) lines that determine which voters are represented by each legislative seat

    • Federal

    • State

    • Local


Why re draw district lines
Why re-draw district lines?

  • Population moves, creating lopsided districts where some votes are worth more than others


Constitutional mandate to redraw lines
Constitutional mandate to redraw lines

Baker v. Carr, 1962

“One person, one vote”

  • Districts have to have roughly equal population


And so
And so…

2000 ―

2001 ―

2010 ―

2011 ―

2020 ―

2021 ―

Census Day

Redistricting

Census Day

Redistricting

Census Day

Redistricting


Today s conversation2
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?


Blunt measure 1 voter choice
Blunt measure #1: voter choice

~40%of state House districts

~50% of state Senate districts

had no major-party challenger in 2002

drawn favoring one party by about 30%


But redistricting is only part of the process

District Partisanship

National Mood

Election Outcome

Demographic Change

Candidate Type

Incumbent Situation

Money Raised

But redistricting is only part of the process

Term Limits

Redistricting

Campaign Finance

Source: Michael McDonald & John Samples, The Marketplace of Democracy 14



Is this a good district

Is she a good singer?

Is this a good district?

You can’t know if a district is “good,” unless you know what it’s trying to achieve


Why does redistricting matter
Why does redistricting matter?

  • Politicians choosing their voters

  • Eliminating incumbents or challengers

  • Diluting minority votes

  • Splitting up communities

Barack

Obama’s

house

2000

2002


Today s conversation3
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?


Who draws the lines in illinois
Who draws the lines in Illinois

  • Congress: State legislature (subject to veto)

  • State lines: State legislature (subject to veto) and if no agreement, backup comm’n- eight members (chosen by legislative leaders) - one random tiebreaker (out of Lincoln’s hat)


Today s conversation4
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?


The voting rights act
The Voting Rights Act

  • Do minorities represent most of the voters in a concentrated area?

  • Do whites vote for different candidates than minorities?

  • Is the minority population otherwise protected given the “totality of the circumstances”?

Do Not Dilute


After federal law add illinois limitations
After federal law, add Illinois limitations

  • State legislature:

  • Contiguity

  • Compactness

  • Nesting

  • Congress:

  • No state limits


Today s conversation5
Today’s conversation

  • What?

  • Why?

  • Who?

  • Where?

  • How?



Influencing redistricting short term
Influencing redistricting (short-term)

  • Educate your community

  • Identify and map community boundaries

  • Attend hearings

  • Show where the boundaries should be


The need for public education
The need for public education

  • Polls on redistricting initiatives

  • 14% were dissatisfied with redistricting process, 13% were satisfied, 70% had no opinion

    • 62-71% felt redistricting unconnected to their lives


Help connect the dots
Help connect the dots

  • Politicians choosing their voters

  • Packing districts to win political control

  • Eliminating incumbents

  • Eliminating challengers

  • Diluting minority votes

  • Splitting up communities


Communities of interest help keep legislators responsive
“Communities of interest” help keep legislators responsive

Kansas :“Social, cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic interests common to the population of the area, which are probable subjects of legislation . . .”

Can and should be different in different parts of the state



Further information
Further information

Justin [email protected] Center for Justicewww.brennancenter.org

Citizen’s Guide to Redistrictingwww.tinyurl.com/citizensguide


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