Texas enacted new state legislative districts on October 25, 2021, when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed proposals approved by the Texas House and Senate into law. These maps will take effect for Texas’ 2022 state legislative elections.
The Senate Redistricting Committee released a draft of a Senate legislative map on September 18, 2021. A Senate panel advanced the proposal to the full Senate for debate on Sept. 28. The Senate approved an amended version in a 20-11 vote on Oct. 4. On Oct. 13, the House approved an amended version of a House map proposal introduced on Sept. 30 with a vote split along party lines.
The House and Senate approved maps for each other’s districts on Oct. 15. The House approved the Senate map by an 81-60 vote, and the Senate approved the House map by an 18-13 vote. Gov. Abbott signed both maps into law on Oct. 25.
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) said of the Senate map, “This map illustrates our commitment to making sure every Texan is well-represented in their state Legislature and their voices are heard.” State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) said the Senate proposal did not adequately reflect the racial composition of the state. “There are nearly three times as many districts that are majority white compared to majority Hispanic,” Anchia said.
State Rep. Todd Hunter (R) said the House map “achieves fair representation for the citizens of Texas.” State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D) criticized revisions to the House districts in the Rio Grande Valley, saying, “In my time in the Legislature, I have never seen such blatant disregard for the process.”
As of October 26, 2021, eight states have adopted legislative 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 40 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 26 states had enacted state legislative maps.
Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 304 of 1,972 state Senate seats (15.4%) and 758 of 5,411 state House seats (14%).
Texas enacted new congressional districts on October 25, 2021, when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a proposal approved by the Texas House and Senate into law. This map will take effect for Texas’ 2022 congressional elections.
Sen. Joan Huffman (R) proposed a congressional map on September 27, 2021, and the Senate approved an amended version on Oct. 8. On Oct. 13, the House Redistricting Committee approved an amended version of the map. The legislature approved a final version of the map on Oct. 18. The Senate approved the bill 18-13, and the House approved the bill 84-59. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the map into law on Oct. 25.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said, “This map displays our collective commitment to making sure every Texan’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C. I want to thank all 31 senators for their hard work, and especially Sen. Huffman for her leadership throughout the redistricting process.”
State Sen. Jose Menendez (D) said the proposed map of congressional districts failed to acknowledge that “people of color…all deserve equal representation.” “We cannot continue to govern without addressing the fact that race matters. Race exists. We had 95% growth in minorities, and we have no new minority opportunity districts, and that is simply wrong,” Menéndez said.
As of Oct. 26, six states have adopted congressional maps, one state’s congressional map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 37 states have not yet adopted congressional maps after the 2020 census. Congressional redistricting has been completed for 66 of the 435 seats (15.2%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 24 states had enacted new congressional maps.
Here’s a summary of recent redistricting timeline updates from Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Colorado: After the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission approved state legislative map proposals to be sent to the Colorado Supreme Court for review on Oct. 11 (House map) and 12 (Senate map), the deadline for the court to either approve or send back the plans is Nov. 15.
Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf’s (D) Redistricting Advisory Council continues to hold public hearings on redistricting. Upcoming dates and locations are listed below:
11:00 a.m. Oct. 27: Penn State Behrend, Pat Black III Conference Center,
11:00 a.m. Oct. 29: Drexel University, Creese Student Center, Philadelphia, PA
11:00 a.m. Nov. 1: Penn State Main Campus, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park, PA
5:30 p.m. Nov. 3: Mansfield University, Manser Hall, Mansfield, PA
Utah: The Utah Independent Redistricting Commission has until Nov. 1 to submit its full report containing proposed congressional districts, Utah Senate and House districts, and school board districts to the legislature.
West Virginia enacted new congressional districts on Oct. 22, 2021, when Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a proposal approved by the House of Delegates and Senate into law. This map will take effect for West Virginia’s 2022 congressional elections.
On Sept. 30, 2021, the House and Senate Redistricting Committees released 18 congressional district map proposals. On Oct. 13, the West Virginia Senate passed a map proposed by Sen. Charles S. Trump IV in a 30-2 vote, which the House then approved on Oct. 14 in an 84-12 vote.
“This bill puts the state into two districts, which are compact and have low drive times,” said Del. Gary Howell (R). State Sen. Trump said, “Compactness is quite a challenge when you’re trying to draw any kind of district. The two West Virginia panhandles render the state uncompact. I believe this bill meets the constitutional requirements of both the United States constitution and the West Virginia constitution. I think it’s a good map.”
As of Oct. 25, five states have adopted new congressional maps, one state’s congressional map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 38 states have not yet adopted new congressional maps.
Congressional redistricting has been completed for 28 of the 435 seats (6.4%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
West Virginia enacted new state legislative districts on Oct. 22, 2021, when Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed map proposals approved by both legislative chambers into law. The maps will take effect for West Virginia’s 2022 state legislative elections.
On Sept. 30, 2021, the House Redistricting Committee released a single-member district map proposal for the West Virginia House of Delegates. The proposal passed the House on Oct. 13 in a 79-20 vote and passed the Senate on Oct. 18 in a 28-5 vote.
On Oct. 5, the Senate Redistricting Committee released five map proposals for West Virginia’s State Senate districts. On Oct. 11, 2021, the Senate Redistricting Committee voted to recommend a senate map proposed by Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) to the full Senate. The Senate approved a map that combined aspects of previous proposals in a 31-2 vote on October 19. The Hosue approved the map 72-19.
“The Joint Committee on Redistricting worked very hard all summer and fall to craft a plan that will give every West Virginian an equal voice in the House of Delegates. For the first time in decades, West Virginia will have 100 single-member House districts,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) of the House map. Del. Mike Pushkin (D) said, “What we have before us is a gerrymandered mess. If your goal is to protect political power well into the future, it was done quite well.”
On the Senate map, Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) said, “This amendment I believe reconciles and harmonizes some of the issues that were points of contention,” Trump said in a statement. “This is the product of conversations and compromises over a long period of time by a great number of people.” “There is a faction within the Republican Party that is worried about their reelection when they shouldn’t be. They should worry about how the state works and how to make it work,” said Sen. Mike Romano (D).
As of Oct. 25, 2021, seven states have adopted new state legislative maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted new state legislative maps based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 41 states have not yet adopted new state legislative maps.
Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 273 of 1,972 state Senate seats (13.8%) and 628 of 5,411 state House seats (11.6%).
At least nine states progressed in either proposing or advancing new congressional and state legislative district maps as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, 2021.
Arizona: The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission released a new series of state legislative and congressional maps between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19. The commission released its first series of map drafts on Oct. 5. These maps cover the state’s congressional and state legislative districts. Since House and Senate districts use the same lines, the Commissions released one state legislative map as part of each series.
Hawaii: The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission’s Technical Committee Permitted Interaction Group presented map proposals for the state’s House and Senate districts to the commission on Oct. 14. The maps were presented separately for the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. Only a draft House map for Kauai was presented since the island has a single state Senate district.
Illinois: On Oct. 15, state legislative Democrats released their first congressional map proposal. Due to population decline, the state was apportioned 17 districts following the 2020 census, a decrease from 18 following the 2010 census.
Commentary surrounding the proposal has centered on implications in national politics. During the 2010 cycle, Republicans controlled the state’s redistricting process. Today, Democrats hold a trifecta in the state. The Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson wrote, “Illinois Democrats have been under pressure from interests including the party’s national campaign committee to maximize opportunities for Democratic seats.”
South Carolina: On Oct. 16, the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee released a series of state Senate map plans proposed and submitted to the committee by outside organizations. Groups who submitted plans include the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, and several county Democratic parties.
Ultimately, the state legislature will decide on the final maps. A special session was initially scheduled to begin on Oct. 12, but it was later canceled in favor of a later start date, which has not yet been set. The ACLU and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit against the state due to the delay.
Delaware: Democrats and Republicans in the state House released proposed maps for the state’s House districts on Oct. 13 and Oct. 15, respectively. Senate Democrats previously released a draft map proposal for the state’s Senate districts on Oct. 11.
Since Delaware was apportioned a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, there will be no congressional redistricting in the state in 2020.
Hawaii: On Oct. 14, the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission voted to approve a map of the state’s two congressional districts. The commission was presented with two maps: one that would have left the existing district lines in place and an alternate proposal. The commission voted in favor of the alternate, which takes a piece of the 1st Congressional District along Oahu’s western coast and moves it into the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the northern portion of Oahu and the rest of the state.
The approved plan will now be made available for public comment with hard copies distributed to the state’s public libraries and election offices.
The commission has until Jan. 8, 2022, to release a public notice of its final proposed map plans, which must be filed by Feb. 27, 2022.
New Mexico: The New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee voted to recommend three congressional map proposals to the state legislature on Oct. 15. This is the first redistricting cycle featuring the Citizen Redistricting Committee, an advisory board signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Apr. 6, 2021.
The state legislature remains in control of the redistricting process, meaning proposals recommended by the Citizen Redistricting Committee are nonbinding. Instead, these proposals serve as the starting point for the legislature’s redistricting process.
Texas: The state House and Senate approved state legislative district maps for each other’s chambers on Oct. 15, sending them to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). On Oct. 18, the legislature also approved a finalized version of the state’s congressional districts. Due to population growth, Texas gained two additional districts. Abbot may now either approve or veto the proposed maps.
Two lawsuits were filed against the proposed maps on Oct. 18. One, filed by a Texas inmate, said his assignment to a congressional district where he does not live violates his right to equal representation. Another, filed by a group of Latino civil rights organizations, said the maps diminished the voting power of Latino voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Learn more about both lawsuits here.
Vermont: On Oct. 15, the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) voted 4-3 to approve a map proposal for the state’s House districts. The proposal included 150 single-member districts, meaning an individual legislator would represent each.
This differs from the House’s current structure, which includes a mixture of single- and multi-member districts. In multi-member districts, voters elect more than one legislator to the chamber. The state Senate, which has not had any maps approved to date, uses single-member districts exclusively.
The approved proposals will now be distributed to local Boards of Civil Authority, who will have until Nov. 15 to provide feedback. After that, the LAB can consider comments and send a final map to the state legislature for approval.
Since Vermont was apportioned a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, there will be no congressional redistricting in the state in 2020.
West Virginia: Proposed plans for West Virginia’s state Senate and congressional district lines advanced through the legislature over the past week. On Oct. 14, the state House voted to approve a congressional map plan proposed by the Joint Committee on Redistricting Chairman Sen. Charles Trump (R). This vote came one day after the Senate approved the plan on Oct. 13. The congressional map plan—which delineates the state’s two congressional districts, a decrease from three due to population decline—now heads to Gov. Jim Justice (R) for final approval.
On Oct. 19, the Senate also approved a proposed map of the state’s Senate districts. This proposal now advances to the state House.
No new maps were enacted between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20.
As of Oct. 20, four states—Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oregon—had enacted new congressional district maps. Those four states plus Ohio had also enacted new state legislative maps. Illinois also enacted new state legislative maps, but, in an Oct. 19 ruling, a federal court took control of the process and ordered interested parties to submit revisions to the enacted maps with a Nov. 8 deadline.
Here’s a summary of recent court challenges involving redistricting.
Former Republican elected officials file lawsuit challenging Oregon’s congressional map
On Oct. 11, four former Oregon elected officials—former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno (R), former Oregon House Republican leader Gary Wilhelms (R), former Mayor of The Dalles James Wilcox, and former Oregon House Speaker Larry Campbell (R)—filed a lawsuit with the Oregon Supreme Court challenging the validity of the state’s enacted congressional map. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said the map was “an unconstitutional partisan gerrymandered redistricting map, as the Democrats drew the map with impermissible partisan intent to favor the Democratic Party, and [the map] will have impermissible partisan effects.” The plaintiffs requested the court declare the congressional map invalid and draw a different congressional map.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed the new congressional map into law on Sept. 27. It was approved by the Oregon House of Representatives 33-16 and approved by the Oregon State Senate 18-6.
ACLU, NAACP file lawsuit in federal court regarding South Carolina redistricting timeline
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit in federal court on Oct. 12 against the South Carolina legislature asking the court to set a deadline for legislators to return to session. South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler (R) canceled a special Senate session originally scheduled to begin Oct. 12 and indicated that lawmakers may not reconvene to address redistricting until December or January.
The ACLU and NAACP said the delay would prevent any potential lawsuits from being resolved before the new districts take effect. Leah Aden, deputy director of litigation at the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said “In every redistricting cycle for the last 50 years — since Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act — voters and others have been compelled to go to court to fix the legislature’s maps…The state’s refusal to tell the public when it will reconvene to take up its obligation to redraw the lines and make it difficult, if not impossible, to resolve any court challenge before the consequential 2022 primaries is unacceptable.”
Three-judge panel named for federal lawsuit asking Virginia to hold legislative elections in both 2021 and 2022
A three-judge panel was selected in a federal lawsuit filed by former state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman that argues that the state’s November 2021 legislative elections with districts drawn after the 2010 census violates the state’s constitution and the Equal Protection Clause. Goldman filed the suit in July.
Goldman argued that Virginia should also hold legislative elections in November 2022 after the state completes redistricting since urban areas have seen increased population growth relative to other parts of the state. Goldman stated that votes in the areas where the population has risen more rapidly are less valuable than those in other parts of the state if the 2010 maps are used for the entire two-year cycle.
U.S. District Judge David Novak ruled the case could move forward and appointed himself, Fourth Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker, and U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson to hear the case. Novak was appointed to the court by President Donald Trump (R), Thacker was appointed by President Barack Obama (D), and Jackson was appointed by President Bill Clinton (D).
Here’s a summary of recent redistricting updates from Virginia and Arkansas.
In Virginia, the Redistricting Commission did not meet the Oct. 10 deadline to submit state legislative maps to the General Assembly. Under state law, the commission is given a 14 day extension to submit maps after “its initial failure to submit a plan to the General Assembly.” If the commission does not reconvene to draft maps, the authority to create new districts passes to the Virginia Supreme Court, which as of October 2021 was made up of a majority of justices appointed by a Republican-controlled legislature.
The Virginia Redistricting Commission is made up of four Democratic state legislators, four Republican legislators, and eight citizen members. The commission is also tasked with drawing a new congressional map, with an Oct. 25 deadline to submit maps to the legislature.
In Arkansas, an organization called Arkansans for a Unified Natural State announced on Oct. 9 that it would attempt to place both proposed congressional district map bills on the November 2022 general election ballot as veto referendums. On Oct. 13, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he would neither sign nor veto the map bills, meaning they are set to become law 90 days after Oct. 13. The two map bills, submitted to the governor by the Arkansas General Assembly as HB 1982 and SB 743, are identical.
In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters of the veto referendums would need to gather 53,491 signatures from registered voters across at least 15 of the state’s counties within 90 days after the end of the special legislative session during which the bills were passed. Supporters of the referendums announced they would need to gather the required 53,491 signatures for each of the identical map bills.
Here’s a summary of recent redistricting updates from California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Nevada, and Washington.
California: On Sept. 22, 2021, the California Supreme Court set a Nov. 15, 2021, deadline for the release of initial draft district plans by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The court also set a Dec. 27, 2021, deadline for the delivery of final district plans to the secretary of state.
Connecticut: According to the Connecticut Constitution, the Reapportionment Committee was required to select a map, which needed two-thirds approval from both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, by Sept. 15, 2021. The committee did not meet this deadline due to delays in the release of census data and was disbanded. Under state law, since the initial eight-member Reapportionment Committee did not meet the Sept. 15 deadline, a nine-member Reapportionment Commission was formed with a final deadline of Nov. 30, 2021.
New Jersey: On Oct. 5, 2021, the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission announced it would hold ten public hearings, five of which would be in-person and five of which would be virtual. The first virtual hearing will be held on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m., the first in-person hearing will be held on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m., and the second virtual hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30.
Nevada: The Nevada Committee to Conduct an Investigation into Matters Relating to Reapportionment and Redistricting held its first public meeting on Oct. 7, 2021. Committee Chair Brittney Miller (D) said the committee will hold at least three public hearings. One will be held in the Reno metro area, one in the Las Vegas metro area, and another in Carson City.
Washington: In an Oct. 14, 2021 press release, the Washington State Redistricting Commission reminded the public that third-party maps should be submitted by Oct. 22 in order to receive full consideration. Maps can still be sent until Nov. 15, but the commission said “we notify the public of the suggested deadline only to ensure that Commissioners have the time to properly consider public submissions.”
At least eight states made progress in either proposing or advancing new congressional and state legislative district maps as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle between Oct. 6 and 13, 2021.
Massachusetts: The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting released proposed maps of state House and Senate districts on Oct. 12. The committee will accept public comments on the proposals until Oct. 18. In Massachusetts, the state legislature is responsible for redistricting, though Gov. Charlie Baker (R) may veto any proposals. Democrats currently hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the legislature.
South Dakota: On Oct. 7 and Oct. 11, the South Dakota House and Senate Redistricting Committees released two new state legislative maps titled Grouse and Eagle, respectively. These maps join the two Senate proposals—titled Blackbird and Falcon—released on Oct. 2 as the four proposed maps circulated during the committees’ statewide public hearing tour between Oct. 11 and Oct. 13.
The committees will meet next on Oct. 18 to incorporate public feedback.
Since South Dakota was apportioned a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, there will be no congressional redistricting in the state in 2020.
Utah: Both the Utah Independent Redistricting Committee (UIRC) and the Utah Legislative Redistricting Committee (ULRC) released initial congressional, state House, and state Senate maps.
This is the first redistricting cycle after Utah voters approved Proposition 4 in 2018. As written, the proposition created the UIRC, which would draft maps and recommend them to the state legislature for final approval. Before this, the legislature alone proposed and approved maps. In 2020, the Utah State Legislature reached an agreement with Proposition 4 supporters and altered the proposition to reintroduce a legislative committee (ULRC) that could also propose maps.
Arkansas: On Oct. 7, the Arkansas General Assembly approved two identical proposed congressional maps, sending them to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R). The proposals—House Bill 1982 and Senate Bill 743—were introduced by Rep. Nelda Speaks (R) and Sen. Jane English (R), respectively.
On Oct. 13, Hutchinson announced that he would not sign the bills into law, meaning they would go into effect without his signature in 90 days. Hutchinson said he was concerned about how the maps might affect minority voters.
The proposals split Pulaski County—where less than 50% of voters identify as white alone—into three separate districts. Proponents of the proposal said splitting Pulaski County, which is located in the center of the state, allowed them to avoid splitting counties elsewhere.
Hutchinson could have vetoed the legislation, but in Arkansas, a gubernatorial veto can be overridden with a simple majority vote. Hutchinson said the 90-day window would allow interested parties time to challenge the maps.
Colorado: The Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission approved its final state House and Senate maps. The commission approved its final House map on Oct. 11 with an 11-1 vote. The group could not agree on a Senate map and reconvened on Oct. 12, its self-imposed deadline. Commissioners ultimately approved a Senate map with a 12-0 vote on Oct. 12.
The approved maps will now move to the Colorado Supreme Court, which will receive commentary. The court will either approve the final maps or send them back to the commission for further work by Nov. 15.
The separate Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission previously selected its final map on Sept. 28.
Michigan: The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted on Oct. 11 to approve four congressional maps, three state Senate maps, and three state House maps for a final series of public hearings, which will take place around the state between Oct. 20 and Oct. 26.
New district plans must be finalized on or before Nov. 15 in order for the state’s primary election calendar to remain unchanged. The filing deadline for 2022 elections is currently Dec. 13, the earliest in the nation, and the primary is scheduled for March 1, 2022. If maps are approved after Nov. 15, the filing deadline could be moved to as late as March 7, 2022, with the primary on May 24.
West Virginia: The West Virginia Senate Redistricting Committee voted to recommend a proposed congressional and state Senate map to the full Senate on Oct. 11, 2021, the first day of the legislature’s special session. Both proposals were introduced by Sen. Charles Trump (R), the committee’s chairman. Due to population decline, West Virginia was apportioned two congressional seats following the 2020 census, a decrease from the three seats the state received following the 2010 census.
No new maps were enacted between Oct. 6 and Oct. 13.
As of Oct. 13, four states—Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oregon—had enacted new congressional district maps. Those four states plus Illinois and Ohio had also enacted new state legislative district maps.