Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Iowa

Process

Hybrid Commission System

Iowa has one of the nation's first redistricting commission processes. Civil servants in the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA), guided by a five-member bipartisan redistricting advisory commission, draft up to three maps, which the Legislature can accept or reject (or modify, after a certain number of rejections). The success of this process depends on courtesy between legislators and a respect for democratic norms.

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Iowa’s state constitution (Art. III §§ 34, 37) requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, and preserve political subdivisions. Consideration of partisan data is prohibited except where required by federal law, as is intentionally favoring or disfavoring an incumbent, person, or group (Iowa Code § 42.4(5)).

Public Input

Per state statute (Iowa Code § 42.6), the redistricting advisory commission must hold at least three public hearings in different regions of the state and release a report to the Legislature summarizing the testimony. The commission held four hearings in April 2011.

Issues

Pitfalls

Iowa currently has a Republican trifecta. The Democratic party need only flip four seats to create split control of the Legislature, which accepts or rejects the state's new maps. Although Iowa's redistricting process is typically uncontroversial, breaking this trifecta in 2020 would create an additional roadblock to gerrymandering in 2021.

Census Delays

  • State legislative redistricting plan adoption deadline: September 15, 2021; if not met, turned over to state Supreme Court with a deadline of December 31, 2021 (Art. III § 35)
    • Submission by LSA deadline: April 1, 2021; can be extended by number of days census data is unavailable (Iowa Code § 42.3)
  • Congressional redistricting plan adoption deadline: no statutory deadline
    • Submission by LSA deadline: April 1, 2021; can be extended by number of days census data is unavailable (Iowa Code § 42.3)

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. The safety valve extension could give Iowa until September 14, 2021 to pass preliminary plans. However, the September 15 constitutional deadline for final state legislative plans remains tight; without formal action, redistricting may default to the Supreme Court. On the other hand, as Iowa has no statutory deadline for final congressional redistricting, the data delay should have little impact. 

Actions

Participate in the commission’s public input process.

  • Obtain Iowa redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy once the advisory commission starts collecting feedback.
  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
State Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
Legislative Control: Republican
Governor's Political Party: Republican
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020