In America, elections are supposed to represent the will of the people, not politicians.
But partisan politicians manipulate voting maps to keep themselves and their party in power. We need to reform the rules and make the process of drawing districts impartial and transparent so our government is of, by, and for the people.
Every 10 years, states re-draw the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts. Redistricting is supposed to reflect changes in population and ensure that everyone is fairly represented.
But politicians draw districts to give themselves or their party an unfair advantage. Common Cause believes voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.
We’re working to create better ways to draw districts that fairly represent your state’s communities. We support reforms including the creation of independent redistricting commissions, the hiring of non-partisan state staff, and clear, constitutional rules for how lines should be drawn. Learn more about independent redistricting commissions. Read our redistricting principles.
In the Courts
Common Cause has lead the fight for fair representation in the courts. For example, we were plaintiffs in Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to North Carolina’s gerrymandered state legislative districts that we won in 2019. We also organize and file amicus briefs in landmark cases concerning the fight against gerrymandering.
In the States
Where has redistricting reform passed?
Common Cause has led the fight to implement reforms across the country that give Americans a voice in their own representation. Democracy activists have successfully pushed for reforms that make redistricting more fair and transparent. Click on a state to learn more about these important victories.
7 states with Independent Citizen Commission (Partisan Balance) | Red
1 Independent Citizen Commission (Partisan Imbalance) | Dark Purple
4 states with Advisory Commission (No Elected Officials) | Dark Blue
2 states with strict Constitutional Standards | Orange
3 states with Politician Commission |Light Blue
1 Nonpartisan State Demographer | Green
1 Nonpartisan Legislative Staff | Light Purple
In January of 2019, Common Cause collaborated with Duke University’s POLIS and the Sanford School of Public Policy on the Reason, Reform, and Redistricting Conference. This event brought together some of the top activists, litigators, and academics working to end gerrymandering across the country. Watch video from almost every panel discussion here.
Common Cause’s Partisan Gerrymandering Writing Competition is generating important scholarship and making a difference in court. Common Cause sponsors a writing competition to generate academic papers useful to litigators to make the case that partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution. One winner served as an expert witness in Common Cause v. Rucho. After a federal court ruled that Virginia’s congressional map was an illegal racial gerrymander, we collaborated with another set of winners to submit a brief to the court. This brief, the only one of its kind, guided the court expert chosen to redraw districts by assessing the partisan fairness of proposed replacement maps the public submitted.