The NCSL Blog


By Saige Draeger

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about redistricting—the complex, once-in-a-decade process of redrawing lines for state legislative and congressional districts. To date, 37 states have adopted new maps, with the remaining 13 either debating, or litigating, proposals.

canvass logoBut what happens when redistricting is over?

The February issue of The Canvass, NCSL’s election administration newsletter, details the lesser-known post-redistricting workflow, where election administrators get to work matching voters to the correct districts based on newly adopted maps.

It’s a complex process with tight turnarounds ahead of primary elections (Texas’ is the earliest in 2022, slated for March 1st). For legislators looking to improve election accuracy, the post-redistricting process—which is largely governed by state law—offers one avenue for exploration.

One approach, known as “geo-enabling” elections, uses geographic information system (GIS) technology for election administration purposes. Geo-enabling elections can improve accuracy by auditing districts and voter files, confirming ballot styles, locating polling places, tracking ballots and more.

Other, non-GIS, strategies include prohibiting precinct changes in the months preceding an election and partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to improve data accuracy.

This month’s Canvass also features a new NCSL resource for state legislators: an election bill rubric designed to help legislators craft and assess effective legislation. The February issue also includes a roundup of election news worth noting.

As always, if the elections team can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Saige Draeger is a policy associate with NCSL's Elections and Redistricting Office.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.