Q:

What determines maps of voting districts?

A:

Quick Answer

In the United States, the way in which voting districts are arranged is typically up to the state legislature. Most states simply pass legislation to arrange their districts in a way that legislators can agree upon. Some states, however, employ specialized committees or commissions to help draw up these maps.

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What determines maps of voting districts?
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Full Answer

In the most of the states in the United States, the way in which voting districts are arranged is up to the legislators of that particular state. Legislators can propose an alteration of the voting districts, just as they can propose other laws and, typically, these alterations are subject to gubernatorial veto.

There are variations on this system, however. Some states, such as Florida, allow legislators to draw up the voting districts without requiring approval from the governor. Other states, such as Iowa, have advisory commissions that, while not playing a decisive role in the finalization of a district plan, nevertheless influence the way in which such plans are drawn. There are also backup commissions, as can be found in Connecticut, that have the power to create voting districts in the event that the legislative body is unable to come to a meaningful agreement on how to draw up the districts. Finally, some states, such as Alaska, have commissions specifically designed to draw up the voting districts, often with the intent of eliminating potential bias from the party currently in control of that state's legislature.

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