1. What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the process of redrawing legislative or congressional district boundaries.
2. How often does redistricting occur?
At least once every ten years following a United States census. Redistricting may occur more than once in a ten-year period if ordered by a court.
3. Why is redistricting done?
Redistricting is required by both the federal and state constitutions to ensure that political representation is proportional. Under constitutional law, each United States representative should represent approximately the same number of people as other United States representatives in that state, and each state legislator should represent approximately the same number of people as other state legislators. Therefore, the districts they are elected from must be roughly equal in population, though some population variance is permissible to satisfy other redistricting criteria.
4. Who conducts redistricting in Idaho?
The Idaho Commission for Reapportionment (also known as the Redistricting Commission). The Commission is bipartisan and composed of six appointed members. You may review biographies of the Commissioners here .
5. Who appoints the Commissioners?
One Commissioner is appointed by each of the following:
The President Pro Tempore of the Idaho Senate
The Idaho Senate Minority Leader
The Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives
The Idaho House Minority Leader
The Chair of the largest political party in Idaho (Idaho Republican Party)
The Chair of the second-largest political party in Idaho (Idaho Democratic Party)
6. When and where will the Commission meet?
The Commission will begin meeting on September 1, 2021, and will hold public meetings throughout the state. To receive meeting agendas and other updates about redistricting in Idaho, please sign up for the subscription list here.
7. How long will redistricting take?
From the day of its first meeting, the Commission will have up to 90 days to adopt congressional and legislative redistricting plans.
8. Are there criteria, besides population, that determine how district boundaries will be drawn?
Yes. Under Idaho law, redistricting plans are governed by the following criteria:
Districts shall be substantially equal in population and should comply with all applicable federal standards and statutes;
Population as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau shall be exclusive permissible data;
Division of counties shall be avoided whenever possible. If a county must be divided, then the number of such divisions, per county, should be kept to a minimum. Districts containing more than one county shall be composed of contiguous counties. Counties shall not be divided to protect a particular political party or political incumbent;
If a legislative district contains more than one county or a portion of a county, then the counties or the portion must be connected by highways (this requirement may be set aside by Commission vote under certain circumstances);
To the maximum extent possible, districts shall preserve traditional neighborhoods and local communities of interest;
To the maximum extent possible, redistricting plans should avoid drawing districts that are oddly shaped; and
District boundaries shall retain local voting precinct boundary lines (this requirement may be set aside by Commission vote under certain circumstances).
9. How can I follow the redistricting process?
Commission meetings are open to the public and will, when possible, be streamed online. You can sign up for email updates about the Commission here.
10. How can I participate in the redistricting process?
You may submit a comment here or submit a proposed redistricting plan here. Comments and proposed plans will be reviewed by the Commissioners and Commission staff.
If public testimony will be taken at a meeting, you can review instructions for how to sign up to testify here.
11. Where can I review Idaho’s redistricting laws?
The Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Code can be found at the Idaho Legislature’s website. Constitutional provisions related to redistricting include Sections 2, 4, and 5 of Article III. Statutes related to redistricting may be found in Chapter 15 of Title 72, Idaho Code.
12. How is a redistricting plan adopted?
By vote of at least four Commissioners.
13. May the Governor or the Legislature overturn a redistricting plan adopted by the Commission?
No. A redistricting plan adopted by the Commission is final unless it is successfully challenged in court.
14. Who may challenge a redistricting plan in court?
Any Idaho registered voter, any incorporated city in Idaho, or any county in Idaho.
15. What is the deadline to file a court challenge?
Per court rule, within 35 days of the Commission’s filing of its final report with the Idaho Secretary of State.
16. I have a question that is not answered here. To whom should I send it?
To email@example.com. Your question will be reviewed and answered as soon as possible by Commission staff.