The United States Constitution requires states to redraw district lines, known as redistricting, to ensure congressional and state legislature districts are reflective of new population numbers. This process happens after each census which takes place every 10 years. Redistricting efforts are currently happening in Ohio, and in all other states, to reflect the 2020 census data. The number of congressional seats allocated to Ohio will decrease by one (from sixteen to fifteen) due to population changes and growth around the country.
Redistricting is a critical process. According to The Brennan Center for Justice, “Redistricting affects political power. It determines which party controls Congress and state and local governments across the country.” Additionally, the process establishes the basis for the distribution of federal funds in social services, community grants, and education.
Redistricting is a complex, detailed, and often confusing process. The included educational resources are intended to provide students with the tools and information they need to understand redistricting, its history, and its importance in good governance. Additionally, we encourage teachers to utilize the free online map building software, Dave's Redistricting App, which allows students to participate in the redistricting efforts by creating their own maps.
Note to educators: for more information about redistricting, please reference Redistricting FAQs and Available Resources.