The Roadmap to Fair Maps in 2030

Voters pick our leaders — leaders should not get to pick and choose their voters. But entrenched gerrymandering practices allow politicians to draw maps that grow their power at the expense of the communities they’re elected to serve.

Independent Redistricting Commissions strengthen our democracy by putting the power to draw electoral maps back in the hands of the people. Drawing voting districts that balance the interests of many different communities in a transparent and nonpartisan way is a challenge but is essential to a properly functioning democracy.

In December 2023, we hosted the first National Citizen Redistricting Commissioners Conference. We gathered with non-elected redistricting commissioners to discuss the future of redistricting in this country and the road to fair maps in 2030. You can read the full report here.

What’s an Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission? 

Independent citizen redistricting commissions aim to keep power in the hands of the people rather than politicians. They are groups of people chosen to draw voting maps completely independent of legislators and political parties. These commissions are significantly more likely to seek public feedback and integrate it into voting maps. This reform helps to create fair representation so that all people can have an equal say in our democracy.

There is no one-size-fits-all structure for every state or community. Each jurisdiction should adopt the best practices that suit its needs. However, some best practices ensure that Independent Redistricting Commissions successfully meet the needs of the communities they serve.

What makes an effective Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission? 

All of the former commissioners’ recommendations fell into three categories:

  1. Independence & Transparency: Commissions must be independent of politicians and political parties and be fully transparent with the public about the redistricting process.

  2. Reflection & Engagement of the Jurisdiction’s Diversity: Commissions must reflect the diversity of their communities, including the intersections of the geographical, socio-economic, ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity of the jurisdictions they serve.

  3. Accessibility: Commissions must create a culture of accessibility and belonging through thoughtful language use, inclusive technology, and flexible meeting schedules.  

What’s Next?

Redistricting reform efforts are underway throughout the country, from Minnesota to Nebraska to the City of Los Angeles! Check out our report to find out which efforts are happening near you and how you can get involved.

Bringing fair maps to every community requires a diversity of talents and perspectives. We need community activists to fight for Independent Redistricting Commissions, innovators to help us harness Artificial Intelligence technology for good, and people to advocate for complete and transparent data.

Independent Redistricting Commissions empower ordinary Americans who are invested in the future of their communities.  We’re working closely with national and in-state allies to make redistricting transparent, nonpartisan, and responsive to community needs.

Common Cause is working to build the resiliency of our democracy by addressing threats like gerrymandering.

For updates, follow us on X [Twitter], Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and TikTok.