50 State Report: New Mexico Earns B for Redistricting from Common Cause
New Mexico ranked above average nationally for a transparent and inclusive process
SANTA FE — Today, Common Cause, the leading anti-gerrymandering group, published a report grading the redistricting process in all 50 states from the view of the community. The comprehensive report evaluates public access, outreach, and education in each state based on an analysis of more than 120 detailed surveys and more than 60 interviews.
New Mexico scored above average compared to other states across the nation: a B. This redistricting cycle was the first to utilize an advisory commission, the Citizen Redistricting Committee (CRC) in the drawing of state and congressional district lines. The report found the CRC produced an overall accessible, and participatory process. Despite the pandemic, the CRC was able to reach more communities through virtual and hybrid options, and organizers successfully mobilized cross-racial communities to advocate for and pass the first community-drawn congressional map. In particular, the report highlights how New Mexico can further improve its redistricting process. By establishing a truly independent redistricting commission and with organizers beginning coalition efforts early, New Mexico can ensure that redistricting works for all of the state’s diverse communities.
“After a close look at all 50 states, this report shows more community voices produce better maps,” said Dan Vicuña, Common Cause national redistricting director. “When everyone can meaningfully participate and have their input reflected in the final maps, that’s how we achieve fair elections voters can trust. We found voting districts that prioritize community interests are the gateway to elections that lead to strong schools, a fair economy, and affordable healthcare.”
Common Cause graded each state for its state level redistricting. Some states received a second grade for their local redistricting process in cases where advocates provided data. Each interview and survey asked participants about the accessibility of the process, the role of community groups, the organizing landscape, and the use of communities of interest criteria.
“Redistricting is only successful when we the people have influence over our own voting districts,” said Mason Graham, Common Cause New Mexico’s policy director. “Redistricting determines the kind of leaders we elect, and how well they represent our views in Santa Fe and Washington. New Mexico earned an above-average score, but there is still more work to be done. We must ensure that in the next redistricting cycle, our redistricting commission is truly independent and free from political influence.”
Common Cause found the most powerful reform is independent, citizen-led commissions where voters—rather than elected officials—administer the process and hold the power of the pen to draw maps. Independent commissioners were found to be more interested in fair representation and community input— rather than electability or party control.
The report was authored by Common Cause, Fair Count, State Voices, and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
The report was published in collaboration with the Coalition Hub for Advancing Redistricting and Grassroots Engagement (CHARGE), which includes Common Cause, Fair Count, League of Women Voters, Mia Familia Vota, NAACP, NCAI, State Voices, APIAVote, and the Center for Popular Democracy.