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Center on the American Governor > On Governors > U.S. Governors > Governors and Redistricting > Redistricting: Special Gubernatorial Powers

Redistricting: Special Gubernatorial Powers

The following is a list of special gubernatorial powers by state, as they relate to redistricting. States that do not appear on this list do not provide their governors with special redistricting powers.


Alaska: The governor directly appoints two out of five commissioners on the political appointee commission.

Arizona: The governor, along with a 2/3 vote in the Arizona State Senate, can remove a commissioner from the independent commission “for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.”

Arkansas: The political commission charged with drawing state legislative maps is comprised of 3 members: the governor of Arkansas, the Arkansas secretary of state, and the attorney general of Arkansas.

Indiana: The governor appoints one of the five members of the backup commission. The backup commission is for the congressional district map only.

Maryland: The governor submits a state legislative redistricting proposal. The governor is assisted by an advisory commission that is appointed solely by the governor.

Missouri: For state legislative redistricting, there are two political appointee commissions, one for the state senate and one for the state house of representatives. For the senate redistricting commission, the state committee of each major party chooses 10 nominees from which the governor chooses five per party, for a total of 10 commissioners. For the house redistricting committee, the congressional district committee from each major political party nominates two members per congressional district, for a total of 32 nominees, from which the governor chooses 16 commissioners.

Ohio: The state legislative redistricting commission consists of seven members, one of whom is the governor. If the legislature fails to adopt a new congressional map, a seven-person backup commission, one of whom is the governor, will be formed to adopt a map.

Oklahoma: The governor appoints one Democrat and one Republican to the backup commission, if necessary. The backup commission is for the state legislative map only.

Utah: The governor selects the chairperson of the advisory commission.

Vermont: The governor appoints one member from each political party to the advisory commission. Each commissioner then appoints another member.

Virginia: In 2011, Governor Bob McDonnell created an advisory commission by executive order. This advisory commission is appointed solely by the governor.


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