What is Redistricting?

Setting The Boundaries Of Democracy


Redistricting is an important part of the democratic process. Every ten years, following the national Census, the boundaries of federal, state, and local election districts by which members of legislative bodies are chosen must be redrawn to reflect shifts in the number of people who live in each area. The districts must have roughly equal populations so that no one person's vote counts more than another person's vote. In theory at least, the districts should be logical, compact, and drawn in such a way that the people living in them have generally common interests and geographical reference points.

But of course, it doesn't always work that way. (See ‘Stories’ page to read about recent redistricting battles in Philadelphia and at the PA state level).

Redistricting Principles A History of Abuse Efforts at Reform

2011 Redistricting Timeline


Although the city and state have considerably different systems for redistricting, the clock begins ticking for both processes at the same time. The U.S. Census Bureau expects to release its final data in March of 2011, which will set in motion the processes spelled out in detail in the City Charter and in the State Constitution.

Philadelphia City Council Pennsylvania, General Assembly Pennsylvania, Congress