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Find Your State

Independent and Advisory Citizen Redistricting Commissions

Overview

Common Cause has led the fight to implement an important reform that has ended gerrymandering in several states. Democracy activists have successfully pushed for the creation of independent citizen redistricting commissions through ballot initiatives and legislation. This reform takes the power to draw districts from legislators and gives it to ordinary Americans.

The key component of these commissions is that political insiders are prohibited from participation, eliminating the clear conflict of interest that exists when elected officials or those close to them draw districts. In every commission state below except Utah, commissioners - and not legislators - have the final say in approving districts. In every commission state except Alaska and Utah, commissions have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Seven states have independent commissions that are designed for partisan balance and that give commissioners the ultimate authority to approve districts. These include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, and Washington.


Flyer on Citizens Redistricting Commissions

Alaska

Alaska Redistricting Law

Independent Commission with no partisan balance. State legislative districts only.

5 members: Governor chooses 2, legislative majority leaders choose 1 each, chief justice chooses 1. State legislative districts only.

Arizona

Arizona Redistricting Law

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

5 members: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans, 1 chair unaffiliated with either major party selected by first 4. Majority and minority legislative leaders select 1 each from pool created by the nonpartisan Commission on Appellate Court Appointments.

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

California

California Redistricting Law

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

14 members: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, 4 unaffiliated with either major party. Majority and minority legislative leaders can only strike applicants from a pool chosen by nonpartisan state auditor’s office. First 8 chosen randomly, final 6 chosen by first 8.

California Common Cause

California Common Cause led the coalition that drafted and passed Proposition 11 in 2008 to create a citizens commission to draw state legislative districts and Proposition 20 in 2010 to add congressional districts to its mandate.

Citizens Redistricting Commission Selection Process

Colorado

Colorado Redistricting Law

Independent commissions with partisan balance. One commission for congressional districts and one for state legislative districts.

12 members 4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, 4 unaffiliated. Panel of judges narrows pool of applicants. 6 (2 Ds-2 Rs-2 Us) selected randomly. Each legislative leader selects 10 applicants from their party. Judges pick 2 Ds and 2 Rs randomly from legislators' lists and 2 Us from remaining pool.

Colorado Common Cause

Amendments Y and Z passed in 2018 thanks to decades of work – led by Colorado Common Cause – to lay the groundwork for redistricting reform. These initiatives created independent redistricting commissions, which will be made up of everyday Coloradans – not politicians.

Idaho

Idaho Redistricting Law

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

6 members: 3 Democrats, 3 Republicans. Majority and minority legislative leaders choose 1 each and heads of each major party select 1 each.

Citizen Commission for Reapportionment

Michigan

Michigan Redistricting Law

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

13 members: 4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, 5 unaffiliated with either major party. Open application and SOS mails application to random voters. SOS removes ineligible applicants and then randomly selects from eligible applicants.

Montana

Montana Redistricting Law

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

5 members: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans, 1 chair unaffiliated with either major party selected by the first 4. Majority and minority legislative leaders choose 1 each.

Montana 2020 Districting and Apportionment Commission

Utah

Utah Redistricting Law

Advisory commission with no partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

7 members: one selected by the governor, one selected by each legislative majority and minority leader, one unaffiliated voter selected jointly by legislative majority leaders, and one unaffiliated voter selected jointly by legislative minority leaders. Legislature must approve maps.

Washington

Washington

Independent commission with partisan balance. Congressional and state legislative districts.

5 members: 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans, 1 nonvoting chair unaffiliated with either major party selected by the first 4. Majority and minority legislative leaders choose 1 each.

Washington State Redistricting Commission

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