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Redistricting: Working for Fair Maps

Redistricting Reform



Gerrymandering, the partisan drawing of voting maps, has always been a part of American politics. The term itself dates back to 1812 and incorporates the name of Elbridge Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, who signed a bill approving voting maps that favored his party. At the time, the Boston Gazette suggested that the contorted shape of one district resembled a salamander. Thus, we now use the term gerrymander to refer to voting districts specifically created to advantage one political party over another.


The way that district boundaries are drawn can determine or strongly influence who gets elected. Fair redistricting helps to ensure that our legislative bodies reflect our changing population and that each citizen’s vote counts equally. Fair districts can lead to:

  • More accountability to constituents because fewer seats are “safe” for members of one party.
  • More time and money spent addressing real legislative priorities, rather than litigating court challenges and redrawing maps that courts found to be gerrymandered.
  • More respect for communities of interest. Maintaining communities of interest ensures their ability to lobby effectively for those interests.
  • More voters who feel that their votes matter.



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Redistricting Advocacy Toolkit
Redistricting Advocacy Toolkit
The following are useful resources for engaging in advocacy on redistricting. Click on the item to download the document.   

Sample Facebook Posts for Redistricting Advocacy

Sample Email to NCGA Regarding Redistricting

Using Twitter to Advocate for Fair Maps

Talking Points for Redistricting Transparency

Guide to Action - This one-page handout describes what voters can do to support redistricting reform to end gerrymandering. (This handout should be distributed at any redistricting-related League events.)

Messaging Guide - The redistricting reform messaging guide is based on analyses of redistricting campaigns in other states and polling that was conducted in North Carolina. The guide should help Leaguers when they are developing written materials, public presentations, letters to the editor, social media posts, and public testimony.

Letter to the Editor Guidelines - This one-page document provides tips and guidelines for writing letters to the editor. 


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Learn about the Issue
Learn about the Issue

Basic Fact Sheet - This one-page basic fact sheet summarizes the principles of impartial redistricting that the League supports and lists the benefits to legislators and voters.

Explanation of Terms - This document briefly summarizes key terms related to redistricting and gerrymandering.

Components of Redistricting Reform - This one-page document summarizes the elements of redistricting reform that promote nonpartisan criteria and a transparent process.

Drawing the Lines - This one-page summary explains how and when new voting district maps are created and who creates those maps.

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Need for Transparent Processes
Need for Transparent Processes
Reform & Transparent Process - This one-page document summarizes the need for impartial criteria and a transparent process.
Transparency in Redistricting: Recommended Best Practices - This LWV-Wake report recommends best practices for transparent processes when a legislature draws new maps during redistricting.

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Redistricting Litigation
Redistricting Litigation
Common Cause v Lewis Summary - This provides a short, clear summary of the case that successfully challenged partisan gerrymandering under the NC Constitution.

Summary of NC Redistricting Lawsuits - This document reviews the major lawsuits challenging racial and partisan gerrymandering from 2011-2020.

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Measuring Gerrymandering
Measuring Gerrymandering
Summary of Metrics - This one-page chart summarizes the different mathematical measurements that can be applied to districts.

Measuring Gerrymandering - This document explains the different metrics for understanding and identifying gerrymandered districts. (This document was created by a Dare County League member.)

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Redistricting Articles from "The Voter" Blog
Redistricting Articles from "The Voter" Blog
Redistricting in 2021: Why We Should Care - January 2021- Fair voting maps matter to anyone who wants good government. Whatever issue you care about, you need to care about how the maps are drawn. 

Are We Telling the Wrong Story About Redistricting?  Fair maps are about much more than just a battle between the political parties.     

The Cost of Gerrymandering in North Carolina - September 2020 - FOIA requests from LWV-Wake revealed that the NC General Assembly spent a staggering 10.79 million dollars between 2011 and 2019 in defending their gerrymandered districts.

Summary of Lawsuits Challenging North Carolina Racial & Partisan Gerrymandering 2011-2020  - March 2020 - In the decade since 2011, the General Assembly faced—and lost—numerous lawsuits in state and federal court due to partisan and racial gerrymandering. 

Redistricting Committee: Recent Activities at the General Assembly - November 2019 - LWV-Wake members observed closely as the General Assembly redrew congressional districts before the 2020 elections. Our continued presence, with numerous members making public comment, helped push the legislature toward greater transparency.

Redistricting Committee: What's Next - November 2019 - In the next round of redistricting, we will focus on educating voters, pushing for greater transparency, and maintaining a constant presence at the NCGA’s redistricting committees.

Redistricting Committee: Celebrating Successes - October 2019 - Since our startup in January 2017, we have researched and written about the subject, talked to the legislature and the public, and closely observed the work of the NCGA.


Click on an image to watch one of our webinars to learn more about redistricting in North Carolina.


LWV-Wake has a team of speakers that can speak to your group about redistricting reform. Our team members have been quoted in numerous media publications and broadcasts on the issue of gerrymandering, presented testimony before the redistricting committees in the legislature, met with legislators to advocate for redistricting reform, and spoken to other groups of concerned citizens in the community. For more information, contact Laurel Voelker, Redistricting Reform Committee Co-chair.


Discussion Toolkit - This is an extensive guide for facilitators leading a book discussion on David Daley's excellent book on redistricting, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy. In addition to the complete toolkit, we have made both black and white and color versions available of the one-page handout of questions for book discussion participants. Click here for a color version of the handout. Click here for a black and white version (recommended if you need to be cost-conscious when reproducing handouts).