HomeLearning CenterNew Report Provides Blueprint for Fair Voting Maps in 2030

New Report Provides Blueprint for Fair Voting Maps in 2030

Originally published by Common Cause

Today, the leading redistricting reform organization, Common Cause, published a new report outlining the steps to securing fair voting maps at every level of government. The report, “The Roadmap for Fair Maps in 2030,” provides a detailed summary of the conclusions from the first ever convening of people-led redistricting commissioners from across the country.

“We’ve brought independent redistricting to communities big and small, and the outcome has consistently been fair maps for the voters” said Dan Vicuña, Common Cause Director of Redistricting & Representation. “Our new report compiles the keys to success from people-led commissions who have already seen what works when it comes to empowering voters. There’s a reason why there’s growing momentum for independent commissions and our report offers the common denominators to success.”

In December 2023, Common Cause gathered citizen redistricting commissioners from 14 commissions in 10 different states to participate in the first ever national conference of commissioners. The commissioners represented their home states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. The report’s findings draw from the commissioners’ feedback and firsthand experiences from participating in an independent process in 2021.

Every commissioner found that overall, independent commissions were the best way to create an accessible, inclusive, and transparent process for the community. The commissioners also agreed that independent commissions were the best way to include and reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the localities. More specifically, the report highlighted several areas of consensus for success:  

  • Restoring the Voting Rights Act, including the re-establishment of preclearance  
  • Connecting community outreach from the Census to redistricting  
  • Ensuring that the commissioners reflect the diversity of the locality or state 
  • Including community-based organizations and community leaders to build trust and buy-in 

Common Cause has long been a leading voice in the effort to bring independent redistricting commissions to every state in the country. The organization started the effort by bringing independent redistricting to California in 2008 so that voters could elect representatives in an inclusive and transparent process. In stark contrast to states without independent commissions that are mired in legal battles, California drew fair maps for state assembly, senate, and Congress in 2021, without a single lawsuit filed.

The report also provides a list of cities and states where efforts to bring independent commissions for 2030 redistricting are currently underway, including the City of Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio.

Common Cause also offers warnings about emerging technologies so that they don’t serve as obstacles to participation, particularly less well-known technologies like artificial intelligence. In the report, the organization advises independent commissions “will need to build guardrails to mediate the threats of AI-generated input such as fake written testimony or maps generated by partisan actors but made to look community-focused.”

The report is a follow-up to the 2023 report that graded all 50 states on their redistricting process, again finding independent commissions was the most powerful and effective of reforms. The report took a close look at how communities, particularly communities of color, faired in the process in each state. 

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