What is redistricting and how are states trying to improve the process?

A 2020 census letter
The Census Bureau has released its first batch of 2020 census data that determines how many U.S. House seats will be allocated to each state.
Paul Sancya | AP Photo

Updated: 3:35 p.m.

The Census Bureau has released its first batch of 2020 census data that determines how many U.S. House seats will be allocated to each state. 

Based on population changes over the last 10 years, the new apportionment data make way only for the start of the redistricting process, which helps state legislatures shape their district maps for future elections within the next decade. The data release came late because of the pandemic, and the full scope of redistricting data from the 2020 census is slated for release later this summer. 

In the meantime, state legislators and election officials are already bracing for legal challenges and a contentious midterm election season in 2022. 

Redistricting itself is a contentious process because it allows elected officials to choose their voting blocs and help influence what party controls state government. 

Tuesday, MPR News host Kerri Miller talked to a state redistricting commissioner and a gerrymandering expert about the newly released census data, the power of partisanship in redistricting, and the impact designated electorates have on local and national elections. 

Guests:

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or RSS.

Correction (May 4, 2021): A previous version of the story incorrectly identified the name of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The story has been updated.

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