Redistricting & Nonprofits

What is Redistricting?

Redistricting occurs every 10 years and takes places after the Census. Every state and its municipalities are required by the U.S. Constitution to redraw their districts based on the results of the Census to achieve “one person one vote.” Our role is as part of a nonprofit, civic coalition that is working for transparency and a solution that serves all people, not partisan preferences.

Redistricting & Nonprofits

Nonprofits have a critical role to promote community participation and build power. Redistricting is about equity and inclusion and making sure that there is fair political representation and distribution of resources. We are all stronger when our democracy is strong. We are all stronger when communities are using their voice and power to help shape and change the systems that impact them every day – especially communities that have been historically disenfranchised.

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is an active member of Our Maps MN campaign and will be playing a role in organizing and mobilizing. MCN will be engaging stakeholders across the state to talk about redistricting and why it matters, map BIPOC and other communities of interest, and advocate that community maps influence the legislative and legal process. 

How can your nonprofits get involved?



MN House Research released two timelines for the redistricting process. The first, default statutory procedure, is a timeline without any court involvement. The second timeline is an alternative redistricting scenario with court involvement. Minnesota has relied on the courts to finalize maps since the 1970s. It is possible that the legislature could pass a redistricting plan without it going to the courts.

Court Involvement: Under this scenario, the legislature attempts to draw and enact legislative and congressional redistricting plans, but the plans either fail to be approved by the legislature, or are vetoed by the governor. This scenario largely reflects the procedure that played out in the 2010 and 2000 redistricting cycles. For the 2020 cycle, the Minnesota Supreme Court could decide to change the court process compared to that outlined here.

 Date  Event 
 April 1, 2020  Official date of the 2020 U.S. Census.
 December 31, 2020* Initial statewide population results are released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

With release of the initial 2020 results, ideal populations for congressional and legislative districts can be calculated and compared with current “official” district populations, which are still based on the 2010 Census.
 January 2021* Upon convening of new legislature, appropriate committees on redistricting are established to begin work drawing new maps.

Lawsuit filed alleging that the current districts (still based on 2010 Census results) are unconstitutional, because they fail to meet the new ideal population standard for equal districts.

Minnesota Supreme Court grants requests of parties in lawsuit to establish a special redistricting panel to hear the case, but the court stays further action to create a panel, deferring to the legislative process.

April 1, 2021* Comprehensive block-level Census totals are released to the state. This is the data that contains the level of detail necessary for new districts and maps to be created.
 Late 2021 Legislative Session Legislature draws and debates new district maps, but plans are not enacted.
 June 2021* Noting that the 2021 Legislative Session has adjourned without enacting a redistricting plan, the court lifts the stay on establishment of a special redistricting panel and appoints its members.
 Summer / Fall 2021 Special redistricting panel begins work; public hearings inform creation of new maps. Order declaring principles to be used in drawing maps is issued by the panel. 
 February 15, 2022 Deadline for enactment of new districts. New maps have not been enacted and signed by the Governor. Special redistricting panel issues final order declaring existing legislative and congressional districts unconstitutional. The order includes maps and new districts.
 August 9, 2022   

State Primary and State General Elections.

 November 8, 2022 Candidates are elected based on the newly-drawn districts.

Note: Dates marked with an * are approximate for the 2020 cycle