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.

Rhode Island

Process

State Legislature

Rhode Island's state legislative and congressional lines are drawn by the state Legislature by ordinary statute, and are subject to the Governor's veto. The Legislature can override vetoes with a three-fifths vote in each chamber.

In 2011, Rhode Island established an 18-member advisory commission, comprised of both legislators and citizens, that makes recommendations to the Legislature, which it can accept, modify, or reject entirely. 

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Rhode Island’s state constitution (Art. VII § 1; VIII § 1) requires that state legislative districts be compact. Rhode Island’s state statutes (2011 R.I. Laws chs. 100, 106) also require that both state legislative and congressional districts be contiguous and preserve political subdivisions.

Public Input

Rhode Island law requires the advisory commission to conduct public hearings prior to issuing findings and recommendations; there is no specified number of hearings required. In the last redistricting cycle, the commission held an initial series of seven hearings in October 2011, followed by seven more in November and December. 

Issues

Pitfalls

One measure of partisan bias in redistricting is the efficiency gap, or the difference between the two parties’ wasted votes, divided by the total number of votes cast. A study by Nicholas Stephanopolis and Eric McGee, the creators of the efficiency gap, found that Rhode Island’s 2012 House of Representative plan was one of the most partisan gerrymanders in the United States.

Congressional Seats

Based upon a recent estimate of congressional seat changes following the 2020 census, Rhode Island is estimated to lose one congressional seat.

Census Delays

  • State legislative redistricting plan deadline: no statutory deadline
  • 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 Rhode Island has no statutory deadline for either state legislative or congressional redistricting, as well as a relatively late candidate filing deadline in 2022, the data delay should have little to no impact. 

Reform

In 2020, a pair of companion bills was introduced in the Rhode Island Legislature. These bills (H7260/S2077) seek to amend the state constitution by adding a fifteen-member independent citizens' redistricting commission. The bills also include redistricting criteria, public hearing, and transparency requirements. Under the Rhode Island Constitution, these bills need a simple majority in the current session to pass. After that, they would be put on the ballot in November. If a majority of voters were to approve, Rhode Island would have an independent redistricting commission in 2021. Both bills currently remain in committee.

Actions

Defend the advisory system while advocating for further reforms like H7260/S2077.

  • Write to your local news organization in support of the advisory commission.
  • Contact your state legislators to voice your desire for fair redistricting.

In 2020, support state legislative candidates who favor fair districting. The entire Rhode Island Legislature will be up for re-election in 2020.

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

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