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Redistricting is the act of using census data to assign geographical boundaries for electoral districts. Originating from a simple constitutional mandate designed to ensure equal access to the government, the modern process is often criticized as a tool for political machines. Redistricting is intended to assign political representation in the US House of Representatives proportionally across regions, regardless of population density. However, geographic boundaries are historically drawn in conspicuous ways that reflect concentrations of an incumbent's supporters in a process called gerrymandering. In response to the widespread perception of such abuse, several states have created non-partisan agencies to redistrict the electorate in order to ensure that the spirit of the law, not the political persuasion of the moment, controls representation allocations.

Timeline

09/24/2012: Supreme Court reversed redistricting ruling

07/26/2012: Alabama asked federal court to approve new redistricting plan

02/28/2012: Federal court issued new Texas voting district maps

01/20/2012: Supreme Court rejected Texas redistricting maps

07/25/2008: Seventh Circuit held voting districts to do not violate rights of Latinos

03/05/2007: Supreme Court ruled no standing in Colorado redistricting case

03/23/2006: Florida Supreme Court struck down redistricting

11/08/2005: California and Ohio voters rejected redistricting proposals

08/13/2005: California Supreme Court overruled lower court decision, placed Proposition 77 back on ballot

03/31/2003: Supreme Court ruled federal courts can redraw electoral boundaries

 ...[more]

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