Redistricting map updates: proposals, advancements, and enactment between Nov. 10 and 17

At least 16 states progressed in either proposing, advancing, or enacting new congressional and state legislative districts maps as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle between Nov. 10 and Nov. 17, 2021.


California: On Nov. 10, five days before its deadline, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released its first draft maps of the state’s Assembly, Senate, congressional, and Board of Equalization districts. The release of these drafts began a two-week moratorium, during which time the commission may not display any other new maps for public comment.

The commission will continue to hold meetings and line drawing sessions and may release new draft maps towards the end of November or in December. The commission has until Dec. 23 to display its final maps, which must be delivered to the secretary of state by Dec. 27.

This is the second redistricting cycle California has utilized a non-politician commission for redistricting. Voters in the state approved a ballot measure in 2008 creating the 14-person commission made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four members who are unaffiliated with either major party.

Florida: The Florida Senate Committee on Reapportionment released four draft maps of the state’s congressional and state Senate districts. Due to population growth, Florida was apportioned 28 congressional districts, up from the 27 it was apportioned following the 2010 census.

The House and Senate Committees on Reapportionment are holding interim meetings throughout the fall with the redistricting process set to officially begin at the start of the next legislative session on Jan. 11, 2022. 

Tennessee: On Nov. 15, Democratic lawmakers released a congressional redistricting plan. Republican lawmakers have not yet released any proposed maps. Scott Golden, chairman of the Tennessee GOP, said the pace was normal and that legislation would most likely be released in January 2022.


Georgia: On Nov. 12 and 15, the Georgia State Legislature approved maps redrawing the state’s 180 House districts and 56 Senate districts, respectively, sending the proposals to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) for final approval.

Democratic lawmakers said the proposals were partisan gerrymanders. State Rep. Bee Nguyen (D) said, “We are a 50-50 state … This map creates a 60-40 split with the advantage given to the Republican Party for the next 10 years.” Republican lawmakers said the maps met the required redistricting criteria and were created in a transparent fashion. State Rep. Bonnie Rich (R), chairwoman of the House redistricting committee, said, “Georgians have requested transparency and yes, we have given them transparency.”

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler said the proposed House map would create 97 Republican-leaning districts and 83 favoring Democrats. Fowler said the Senate map would likely elect 33 Republicans and 23 Democrats. Republicans currently hold a 103-77 majority in the House and a 34-22 majority in the Senate.

Ohio: On Nov. 15, Republican lawmakers in the state House and Senate released a joint congressional district map proposal. On Nov. 16, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 24-7 along party lines to approve the map.

Under congressional redistricting rules approved by Ohio voters in 2018, without bipartisan support, the proposed map may only be in effect for four years rather than the typical 10-year period. A congressional map must be supported by three-fifths of the legislature, including one-third of the minority party’s membership, in order to last for 10 years. Otherwise, a map can be enacted by a simple majority, but only apply for four years.

Ohio lost one congressional seat, leaving the state with 15 congressional districts, down from the 16 it was apportioned after the 2010 census.

South Carolina: The House Judiciary Committee voted 21-2 in favor of approving a new map of the state’s 124 House districts on Nov. 16. The Judiciary Committee received the proposal from a seven-member redistricting committee—four Republicans and three Democrats—which previously approved the map by a 7-0 vote. The Herald’s Zak Koeske wrote that the proposal splits 33 counties, creates two more Republican-leaning districts, and places ten incumbents—six Democrats and four Republicans—into districts with other incumbents. It will now advance to the full House for a vote. 

Wisconsin: The Republican-controlled State Assembly voted to approve new state legislative and congressional maps in a 60-38 party-line vote on Nov. 11. The Senate previously approved the maps on Nov. 8 with a 21-12 party-line vote. 

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D) said the maps were a partisan gerrymander, saying, “It is not normal in a 50-50 state to have 64 seats drawn to be more Republican.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said the maps met the criteria required for redistricting, saying, “It is the duty of the state Legislature laid out in our Wisconsin Constitution — not appointed commissions or the executive branch — to draw legislative districts.”

Prior to their passage, Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he would veto the proposals and ultimately did so on Nov. 18, sending redistricting to either a state or federal court depending on ongoing court cases.

Washington: The Washington State Redistricting Commission missed its Nov. 15 deadline to approve final congressional and state legislative maps to submit to the state legislature. Under state law, the redistricting authority now passes to the Washington Supreme Court, which has until April 30 to develop new district lines.

On Nov. 16, after missing the deadline, the commission released its approved congressional and state legislative district lines. While these lines do not carry any authority, the commission asked the state supreme court to use those agreed-upon lines when carrying out its newfound redistricting duties.


Four states—Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah—enacted new congressional maps between Nov. 10 and 17. Idaho, Nevada, and Utah also enacted new state legislative district maps along with Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

As of Nov. 17, 14 states had finished their congressional redistricting and 20 had finalized their state legislative districts.

Additional reading:

Utah enacts new legislative maps

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed new state legislative district maps for both chambers into law on Nov. 16, 2021. After Cox called a special session to begin on Nov. 9, the Utah legislature voted to approve the House and Senate district maps on Nov. 10. The House passed a proposed map of their own districts in a 60-12 vote and voted 58-13 to approve the Senate map proposal. The Senate approved the House district proposal in a 25-3 vote and approved their own proposed map in a 26-2 vote. These maps take effect for Utah’s 2022 legislative elections.

Both proposals differed from those presented to the legislative committee by Utah’s Independent Redistricting Commission on Nov. 1. The commission presented 12 maps (three each for House, Senate, congressional, and school board districts) to the Legislative Redistricting Committee, one of which was submitted by a citizen.

Lynette Wendel (D), who lost the election to represent Utah House District 39, said the districts were drawn to maintain Republicans’ majorities in the state legislature. “It was a very strategic approach so that very few people who have an insulated agenda can force that agenda continuously on this state,” Wendel said. Summit County Democratic Party Chair Katy Owens (D) said, “We would love to be able to have the opportunity to elect the representatives that we want but these maps have been deliberately drawn to prevent that.”

Sen. Scott Sandall (R), who along with Rep. Paul Ray (R) co-chaired the Legislative Redistricting Committee, said the new maps were drawn with citizens’ interests in mind. “After listening to Utahns and touring the state, Rep. Ray and I created maps that we believe incorporate the interests of all Utahns,” Sandall said. Ray said the legislature, not the Independent Redistricting Commission, “has the constitutional responsibility to divide the state into electoral districts” and he and Sandall “have worked tirelessly to come up with boundaries that best represent the diverse interests of the people we were elected to represent.”

As of Nov. 17, 20 states have adopted legislative district maps, one state enacted its legislative boundaries based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 29 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point after the 2010 census, 29 states had enacted legislative maps.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 687 of 1,972 state Senate seats (34.8%) and 1,780 of 5,411 state House seats (32.9%).

Additional reading:

Idaho enacts new congressional and state legislative maps

On Nov. 12, 2021, the Idaho Independent Redistricting Commission formally submitted its final congressional and state legislative maps to the secretary of state, enacting new maps for the state’s two U.S. House districts and 35 legislative districts.

The commission voted in favor of the final versions of both the congressional and state legislative maps on Nov. 5 but chose to recast their votes on Nov. 10 due to concerns regarding Idaho’s open meetings laws.

The six commissioners—three appointed by Democrats and three by Republicans—voted 4-2 in favor of the final congressional map. Nels Mitchell and Dan Schmidt, both Democratic appointees, voted against the map, saying they opposed its division of Ada County, the state’s most populous, into two districts. Ada County was split between two districts following the 2010 census.

Mitchell said, “there is a statute on the books that says we’re not supposed to split counties if we don’t have to, and I don’t believe we had to.” Commissioner Bart Davis, who supported the map, said, “there were honest disagreements on the congressional plan … and that’s the reason we have a commission of six, is to allow us to think about it and challenge each other’s thinking.”

The commission voted 6-0 in favor of the new state legislative district maps. Idaho has 35 legislative districts, which each elects one senator and two representatives.

House Speaker Scott Bedke (R) said, “The Idaho House Republican Caucus is not entirely thrilled with the new reapportionment of Idaho’s legislative map,” adding that, “highly qualified and established legislators may be forced to campaign against equally skilled former colleagues.”

Idaho Ed News’ Kevin Richert estimated that the new legislative maps could result in six House races and five Senate races where incumbents would face re-election against one another.

Commissioner Schmidt said, “We’ve tried to do our best to balance the interests and the needs of the communities we are working with and the law that is before us,” adding, “We went into this process knowing that our task could not make everybody happy, and we don’t expect it will.”

As of Nov. 12, 2021, 12 states had enacted congressional maps following the 2020 census and 17 had completed state legislative redistricting. At that time in 2011, following the 2010 census, 26 states had finished congressional redistricting and 29 had finished state legislative redistricting.

Nevada enacts new congressional, legislative maps

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed new congressional and legislative maps into law on Nov. 16, 2021. These maps take effect for Nevada’s 2022 congressional and legislative elections.

Nevada is the 14th state to enact congressional maps this redistricting cycle, and the 20th state to enact legislative maps. During the 2010 redistricting cycle, Nevada enacted both congressional and legislative maps on Oct. 27, 2011, 20 days earlier than this year.

The maps were approved by the Nevada State Senate in a 12-9 vote on Nov. 14. In a press release, Democratic lawmakers said they planned to issue an amendment to the congressional draft map in the Nevada State Assembly that would aim to address requests from tribal communities in the state and the allocation of incarcerated individuals. On Nov. 16, the Nevada State Assembly voted 25-17 to pass the amended maps.

The maps were passed largely along party lines, with Democrats voting to approve the maps and Republicans voting against. The only Democrat to vote against the maps was Rep. Edgar Flores.

After signing the maps, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said: “After a thoughtful, efficient and productive session, I am proud to sign these bills into law today. These maps reflect Nevada’s diversity and reflect public feedback gathered throughout the legislative process.” Rep. Brittney Miller (D) spoke before the final vote on the maps, saying: “These maps are fair and legal and accurately reflect the diversity of our state.”

Rep. Melissa Hardy (R) criticized the maps, saying: “A process that affects every person living in the state […] deserves to be thoroughly vetted and questioned by this body as a whole. Instead, there are a lack of answers to questions posed, an inability to ask questions of those who have the answers, and an overall lack of transparency throughout.” Rep. Jill Dickman (R) said: “This bill is universally disliked, but the reason has nothing to do with compromise because there was none.”

A closer look at Delaware’s new state legislative maps

On Nov. 2, 2021, Gov. John Carney (D) signed Senate Bill 199 (SB 199) into law, enacting new maps for Delaware’s 21 state Senate and 41 state House districts. These maps will take effect for the state’s 2022 legislative elections.

Eighteen states have finalized their state legislative redistricting maps following the 2020 census. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 29 states had completed their legislative maps.

The Delaware General Assembly approved the final House and Senate map proposals on Nov. 1 before sending them to Carney. 

The state Senate approved the maps along party lines with all 14 Democrats in favor and all seven Republicans against. Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola (D) said, “The map does retain the cores of all 21 current Senate districts … It does retain five majority-minority Senate districts. It retains one majority-Black Senate district.” 

Republican senators opposing the bill said the Senate map did not account for population growth in Sussex County, the state’s fastest-growing. Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker (R) said, “Our constituents in Sussex County are way underrepresented … It’s not fair to the senators in those districts and it’s not fair to the staffing we have to represent those districts.”

SB 199 faced no debate in the House of Representatives, where members voted 40-1 in favor with state Rep. Michael Smith (R) voting against.

Democrats currently control both chambers of the Delaware General Assembly with a 14-7 majority in the Senate and a 26-15 majority in the House.

Since Delaware was apportioned a single at-large U.S. House seat, it will not conduct congressional redistricting during the 2020 cycle.

Additional reading:

Nevada and Utah hold special legislative sessions for redistricting

Here’s a summary of recent redistricting updates from Nevada and Utah.

Nevada: On Nov. 11, 2021, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced a special session to address redistricting would begin on Nov. 12. Legislators are expected to debate the congressional and state legislative maps released on Nov. 9.

Utah: The Utah legislature began its special session focused on redistricting on Nov. 9. The House passed a congressional district map proposal on the first day of the session, and the Senate followed a day later. Both chambers also approved legislative district plans for the House and Senate on Nov. 10. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed the congressional districts into law on Nov. 12, but as of Nov. 15, he had not signed the legislative map proposals.

Colorado Supreme Court approves final state legislative maps

On Nov. 15, 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court approved the state House and Senate maps finalized by the Colorado Independent Legislative Commission on Oct. 11 and 12, respectively. These maps, which redraw the state’s 35 Senate districts and 65 House districts, will take effect for the state’s 2022 state legislative elections.

Colorado was the 16th state to finalize its state legislative redistricting maps following the 2020 census. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 29 states had completed their state legislative maps.

The Colorado Sun’s Thy Vot wrote that the maps “appear to favor Democrats’ maintaining their majority in the General Assembly.” Colorado Politics’ Evan Wyloge observed that the new maps created nine House districts where previous election results fell within a five percentage point margin of victory and eight such Senate districts. At the time of approval, Democrats held a 42-23 majority in the House and a 20-15 majority in the Senate.

This is the first redistricting cycle following the passage of Amendment Z by voters in 2018, which established a non-politician commission to handle state legislative redistricting. The commission settled on its final House and Senate maps during meetings on Oct. 11 and 12. Under Colorado’s redistricting rules, once the commission approves its final versions, those maps are then sent to the state supreme court for final approval. 

During the supreme court’s approval process, nine organizations and individuals submitted legal briefs in support of or opposition to the maps. Colorado Newsline’s Sara Wilson wrote that “objections to those maps revolve around the argument that they split up cities like Lakewood and Greeley without justification and don’t create enough competitive districts.” Supporters of the maps said that the commission fulfilled the constitutional requirements laid out by Amendment Z, which the supreme court agreed with in the conclusion of its opinion.

The state supreme court previously approved the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission’s congressional map on Nov. 1.

Additional reading:

Utah enacts new congressional districts

Utah enacted new congressional districts on Nov. 12, 2021, after Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a map approved by the House and the Senate. The enacted map was drafted by the legislature and differed from a proposal the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission released on Nov. 5.

The congressional map passed the Utah House 50-22 on Nov. 9 with five Republicans and all Democratic House members voting against it. The Senate approved the map on Nov. 10 in a 21-7 vote. Before signing the congressional map, Cox said he would not veto any maps approved by the legislature, and “the Legislature is fully within their rights to actually make those decisions and decide where they want to draw those lines.” This map takes effect for Utah’s 2022 congressional elections.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R) said he supported the mix of urban and rural areas in each district. “I know some people will say, ‘Well, that’s just a way for you guys to protect the Republican interest,’ but it’s really not. There’s only four of us. Only four members of Congress. The rural issues, the public lands, and the water issues are so critical to our state,” Stewart said. In response to allegations that the map showed partisan bias, Gov. Cox said, “If you have to divide counties, Republicans are always going to divide counties with lots of Democrats in them. And Democrats are always going to divide counties with lots of Republicans in them. It’s happening all across the country.”

Rep. Brian King (D) said “the Congressional map is the product of national Republican groups working to put their self-interested stamp on Utah. I’m disappointed that our Republican colleagues have not pushed back and insisted on Utah decision-makers for the Congressional map.”

As of Nov. 15, 12 states have adopted congressional district maps, one state’s legislature has approved congressional district maps that have not yet taken effect, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required) and 31 states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point after the 2010 redistricting cycle, 26 states had enacted congressional maps.

Congressional redistricting has been completed for 105 of the 435 seats (24.1%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

South Dakota enacts new state legislative district maps

South Dakota enacted new state legislative and congressional districts after the legislature approved a compromise between two competing proposals. Both chambers voted to approve the final proposal, known as the Sparrow map, on Nov. 10, 2021. The House approved the new districts in a 37-31 vote and the Senate by a vote of 30-2. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed the proposal into law later that night.

Both chambers approved their own versions of the final map on the first day of the special legislative session, which began on Nov. 8. The House passed a plan by a vote of 48-20. The Senate approved a separate plan in a 20-15 vote. The two proposals mostly differed in their approach to Native American reservations and the rural areas around Rapid City. The maps will take effect for South Dakota’s 2022 legislative elections.

“Our priorities were clear, consistent and named early in the process. The compromise map met most of our objectives and therefore we supported it,” said Rep. Jamie Smith (D). Democratic Party Chair Randy Seiler said “South Dakota Democrats look forward to a competitive election cycle under the newly drawn district boundaries.”

Rep. Drew Dennert (R) said, “The theme of this map is it is against the wishes of the people.”

“We know not everybody likes it, but this is an agreement we came to,” Senator Mary Duvall (R) said.

As of Nov. 11, 2021, 15 states have adopted legislative district maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted its legislative boundaries based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 33 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point after the 2010 census, 29 states had adopted legislative district maps.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 546 of 1,972 state Senate seats (27.7%) and 1,487 of 5,411 state House seats (27.5%).

North Dakota enacts new state legislative maps

On Nov. 11, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed a new state legislative map following the 2020 redistricting cycle. The House approved the map in a 73-18 vote on Nov. 9, and the Senate approved the map in a 40-7 vote on Nov. 10. 

The map was drafted by the Legislative Redistricting Committee, which had fourteen Republican members and two Democratic members. The state maintained its 47 legislative districts, but three new districts were placed near more populous areas and three districts were removed from less populous rural areas.

After signing the map, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) released a statement saying: “We appreciate the Legislature and the interim redistricting committee for their fairness, diligence and transparency as they conducted this important process, which is key to ensuring a representative democracy.” The Dickinson Press reported that Rep. Mike Schatz (R) said “the map is geographically absurd and […] has been gerrymandered,” with Schatz saying: “I cannot for the life of me figure out why they would make this. They’re really pushing those of us who don’t like their map into a corner, and that’s frustrating for me.”

The state legislature completed legislative redistricting during a special session that began on Nov. 8. Since North Dakota was apportioned one single at-large U.S. House seat, they do not need to draft a congressional map.