Unless you’re one of a select few, your tournament bracket is probably busted. Although March is almost over, (Gerry)Mandering Madness has only just begun!
Last week the Census delivered the final state-level files that are used for redistricting. So what’s next for your state?
In Iowa, where redistricting has traditionally been a low-key affair, the loss of a congressional seat has politicians and constituents fretting about the future of their districts. Nevertheless, Iowa’s redistricting process is fairly straightforward and is determined by a computer and three staff. So for now, all anyone can do is wait.
If only it were that simple in other states. Instead many will watch politicians and political parties fight (and bargain) for territory. In others, they’ll see commissions grapple with complex issues as they draw new lines.
One such state is California, where the brand new Citizens Redistricting Commission is hard at work. The Commission was spawned from a 2008 ballot initiative and its authority was expanded with the passage of another ballot question in 2010. Now, 14 people (and some recently hired staff) are responsible for redrawing the boundaries.
On the other hand, redistricting won’t prove problematic for states like Delaware and North Dakota which have only one representative, and so the state itself is one district.