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Center on the American Governor > On Governors > U.S. Governors > Governors and Redistricting > Redistricting: Drawing Congressional Districts

Redistricting: Drawing Congressional Districts

Who Draws CongressionalAs with state legislative redistricting, most states—28—redistrict at the federal congressional level by having state legislatures draw and pass maps as regular legislation. Seven states involve an advisory commission in this legislative process. The plans must be approved by a simple majority vote in each chamber (except Nebraska, which has a unicameral legislature) with the exception of Connecticut and Maine, which require a 2/3 majority, and Ohio, which requires a 3/5 majority (including the approval of at least half of the minority party).

Four states use political appointee commissions to draw new maps and an additional four states use an independent commission.

Note that seven states do not need a federal legislative redistricting procedure as they currently have only one congressional district due to their small populations. It is, of course, possible that the upcoming Census could find that some of these states’ populations have increased enough to award them a second district. Several of these states, however, have never had more than one congressional district, and thus have never had to redistrict at the congressional level, leaving them without clearly defined plans in the event they are awarded a second district.


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