Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 5, officials in at least seven states either proposed, advanced, or enacted new redistricting maps.
Florida: The Senate Redistricting Committee released eight new maps—four of congressional districts and four of Senate districts—on Jan. 5 ahead of the start of the regularly-scheduled legislative session on Jan. 11. The Florida Constitution requires legislators to complete redistricting during the legislative session, though both chambers’ redistricting committees and the public have been able to submit proposals leading up to the session’s start.
In Florida, the legislature draws both congressional and state legislative district maps. The congressional map is passed as a regular statute, meaning it is subject to a gubernatorial veto. The legislative maps are passed as a joint resolution and, therefore, are not subject to a veto. Any legislative maps passed are automatically submitted to the state supreme court for final approval.
Kentucky: Republican lawmakers released new House district maps on Dec. 30 followed by Senate and congressional maps on Jan. 4, the start of the new legislative session. While these maps were released ahead of the state’s candidate filing deadline on Jan. 7, lawmakers understood they would not have new district lines enacted in time for candidates to know where they will be running in 2022.
On Jan. 6, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed into law a bill changing the state’s candidate filing deadline from Jan. 7 to Jan. 25 to allow legislators enough time to finalize new district lines.
Kentucky is a divided government with Republicans controlling both chambers of the legislature and Democrats controlling the governorship. Any maps produced by the legislature are subject to a gubernatorial veto. Kentucky is one of six states that requires a simple majority vote to override a gubernatorial veto.
New Hampshire: On Jan. 5, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved congressional and state House maps proposed by Republican lawmakers. Members voted 186-164 in favor of the former and 186-168 for the latter.
Democrats currently represent both of the state’s congressional districts. NHPR’s Josh Rogers wrote that the congressional plan would result in the state’s 1st District, represented by Rep. Chris Pappas (D), tilting Republican with the 2nd District, held by Rep. Annie Kuster (D), becoming more Democratic.
At the time of the map’s initial release, state Rep. David Cote (D) said, “The proposed drastic re-drawing of Congressional districts is unprecedented and designed with the singular goal of rigging elections through partisan gerrymandering.”
Upon its passage, state Rep. Bob Lynn (R) said political considerations are common in redistricting, saying, “Particularly considering what we are dividing up are districts for voting purposes, political affinity would seem to be among the most important considerations.”
New York: On Jan. 3, the New York Independent Redistricting Commission met to vote on the congressional and legislative map plans it would recommend to the state legislature. The commission’s vote was tied 5-5, so it submitted both sets of proposals—those introduced by Democratic members and those by Republicans—to the legislature.
This is the first redistricting cycle since the state approved a constitutional amendment creating the redistricting commission, which is made up of four members appointed by Democratic lawmakers, four by Republicans, and two unaffiliated members selected by the eight appointees.
The legislature will either approve or reject the commission’s plans by a simple up/down vote. If the legislature rejects two sets of proposals, it may then amend the commission’s map plans.
Three states—Arkansas, Georgia, and New Mexico—enacted new state legislative maps between Dec. 29 and Jan. 5. New Mexico enacted its House map on Dec. 29 and its Senate map on Jan. 7. Georgia also enacted a new congressional map on Dec. 30.
As of Jan. 7, 2021, 24 states have enacted congressional district maps and 28 have enacted legislative district lines.
- Redistricting in Arkansas after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in Florida after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in Georgia after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in Kentucky after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in New Hampshire after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in New Mexico after the 2020 census
- Redistricting in New York after the 2020 census