Louisiana group invites public to draw and submit own redistricting maps

A map of Baton Rouge area Senate Districts. (Louisiana Legislature image)

Fair Districts Louisiana is urging Louisiana residents to submit their own proposed political districts as part of an effort to get the redistricting process rolling. 

The Legislature’s governmental affairs committees meet Friday to start the process, ahead of a planned “road show” to receive public input and a special redistricting session that will be held early next year. Fair Districts Louisiana is working to assemble compendiums of map proposals for all statewide and local bodies. 

“We’re putting redistricting tools into the hands of ordinary citizens,” says Evan Bergeron, general counsel for Fair Districts Louisiana. “We’re kind of serving as a central clearinghouse for all of those citizen-generated maps.” 

Fair Districts has partnered with Dave’s Redistricting App, an online redistricting platform, to help users create those maps. Each of those maps, and any proposed by lawmakers, will be scored on five factors, Bergeron says:

  • Proportionality: Whether it generally reflects the voting population’s partisan makeup. 
  • Competitiveness: Whether the partisan distribution allows for competitive elections. 
  • Minority rights: The extent to which a map complies with the Voting Rights Act, so that minorities receive the appropriate level of representation based on their share of the population.
  • Compactness: Measures “how nice the shape looks,” so the district doesn’t “have all these little tentacles out there.”
  • Splitting: How much a map avoids splitting parish, municipal and “community of interest” boundaries.

More information is available at fairdistrictsla.org.