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.

Massachusetts

Process

State Legislature

Massachusetts's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the state Legislature by ordinary statute, and are subject to the Governor's veto. The Legislature can override vetoes with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Massachusetts’ state constitution (Amend. CI §§ 1, 2) requires that state legislative be contiguous and preserve political subdivisions. There are no state law requirements for drawing congressional districts.

Public Input

While Massachusetts law does not require public hearings, the legislative committee responsible for redistricting held 13 meetings between March and June 2011. The Legislature also launched an interactive website dedicated to redistricting. It is likely that there will be similar opportunities and resources for public input in 2021.

Additionally, Common Cause Massachusetts organized a “Redistricting Olympics” to challenge residents to draw their own district maps and invite more public engagement with the process. Winners received prize money, and their maps were submitted to the Joint Committee on Redistricting.

Issues

Pitfalls

Redistricting in Massachusetts is under single-party control by Democrats because of the party's legislative supermajorities (permitting override of a veto from the Commonwealth's Republican Governor), and the congressional delegation is 9 Democrats and no Republicans. However, the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group has used intensive computer simulations to find that Republicans are so evenly distributed around the state that drawing a Republican congressional district is impossible.

Census Delays

  • State legislative redistricting plan deadline: end of first legislative session of 2021; could go until end of the year (Amend. CI)
  • Congressional redistricting plan deadline: no statutory deadline

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. As Massachusetts has a late deadline for state legislative redistricting and no statutory deadline for congressional redistricting, along with a full-time Legislature and late 2022 primaries, the data delay should have little to no impact.

Reform

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering two similar proposals for an independent commission. S13, a proposed constitutional amendment, creates a seven-member commission to draw congressional, state legislative, and councilor districts under certain criteria and with required public hearings. The maps would then be voted on by the Legislature without chance for amendment. H679, a proposed bill, is essentially the same, but is limited only to congressional lines. Most recently, S13 was introduced in a joint session on May 13, 2020, and consideration has been delayed until December 16, 2020.

Actions

Support the redistricting reform package of legislation introduced in the Legislature by contacting your state representatives. Learn more under Potential Reform.

In 2020, support state legislative candidates who favor fair districting.

In 2021, participate in the Legislature’s public input process.

  • Obtain Massachusetts 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 Legislature 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 legislature
State Boundaries: Drawn by legislature
Legislative Control: Democratic
Governor's Political Party: Republican
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020