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League of Women Voters of Nebraska

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What is Redistricting?

  • In December 2020, the Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the President and Congress and then the states use this information to redistrict.
  •  Congressional, state legislative and municipal district boundaries are drawn every 10 years following completion of the U.S. Census to ensure that districts have about the same number of people.
  • In Nebraska, the state Legislature is currently responsible for redrawing district lines.
  • Other states use independent political commissions.

What is Gerrymandering?

  • Gerrymandering is the process of dividing up and redrawing lines to favor one political party or class of people.
  • Political parties sometimes draw lines for their own benefit instead of being proportional and fair.
  • Gerrymandering may include packing —  drawing districts in such a way as to ensure that another party’s candidate wins that seat by a tremendous margin. Although the opposing party is all but guaranteed the seat, packing makes surrounding districts less competitive and thus tips the balance of power in the legislative body overall toward the majority party.
  • Gerrymandering may include cracking — drawing districts in such a way as to divide a concentration of specific types of voters across several districts so that they are a minority in each one, with practically no hope of achieving representation in any of the districts. This practice also helps make districts less competitive.

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