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A Citizens Guide to Redistricting

A Citizens Guide to Redistricting

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Published by: The Brennan Center for Justice on Jun 28, 2011
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06/28/2011

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Te way that district lines are drawn puts voters together in groups – some
voters are kept together in one district and others are separated and placed into
other districts. Te lines can keep people with common interests together or
split them apart. Depending on which voters are bundled together in a district,
the district lines can make it much easier or much harder to elect any given
representative, or to elect a representative responsive to any given community.
And together, the district lines have the potential to change the composition of
the legislative delegation as a whole.

We discuss below options for drawing the district lines, and the efects they
may generally have. To keep the discussion concrete, however, we frst ofer a
few anecdotes from the last few rounds of redistricting, showing the substantial
impact that these redistricting decisions can have on our elections. Tese are
only representative examples; similar stories can be found in many states in
virtually every redistricting cycle.

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