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Center on the American Governor > On Governors > U.S. Governors > Governors and Redistricting > Redistricting: Drawing State District Lines

Redistricting: Drawing State District Lines

Who Draws StateIn the most common approach to state legislative redistricting—used in 27 states—the legislature draws and passes state legislative redistricting plans as it would regular legislation. (The power of the governor to veto this legislation varies by state; see here). Nine states use a similar process, but with an advisory commission that advises the legislature in drawing the maps. The state legislature then has the final say in approving them. In both scenarios, the plans must be approved with a simple majority vote in each chamber (or, in Nebraska, in the unicameral chamber), except for in Connecticut and Maine, where a 2/3 majority is required for approval.

Non-legislative political appointee commissions draw state legislative districts in nine states. These commissions are comprised of members who are directly appointed by elected officials, party leadership, and/or party committees. In some cases, the appointees themselves select a final tie-breaking member. In most of these commissions, the members are not themselves elected officials. Arkansas is the only state to use a politician commission fully comprised of current elected officials. Ohio, meanwhile, uses a hybrid political appointee/politician commission, as the commission is largely appointed except for the governor of Ohio, who sits on the commission as an incumbent politician. Finally, four states use an independent commission comprised of members who cannot be public officials or current lawmakers and who are selected through a screening process conducted by an independent body.


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