Tennessee League of Women Voters Criticizes Redistricting Process

January 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Fair Elections, Recent Blog Posts

The Tennessee League of Women Voters doesn’t like the way redistricting is done in this state. FYI, we don’t like it either and for pretty much the same reasons.

Tennessee Statement on Redistricting
League of Women Voters of Tennessee

Representative democracy depends on voters freely choosing their elected officials, not elected officials choosing them. The League works to promote transparent and accountable redistricting processes and to end hyper-partisan practices that don’t benefit constituents.

In our view, the Tennessee redistricting process that has been in the news lately certainly lacks transparency and accountability. We do not have a position on where to draw district lines nor do we necessarily believe this process is worse than previous legislative efforts. We do believe, however, that the secret discussions which lead to this “take it or leave it plan” do not serve the public interest. Tennessee can do better.

The League continues its work to encourage development of a better system well in advance of any future redistricting processes.

Recently, the League of Women Voters of Tennessee sponsored a contest, which resulted in many Tennessee redistricting maps being developed on a voluntary basis by students and other Tennesseans.

These maps were judged based on several criteria including:
Compactness. Are all parts of the district within a close geographic area?
Community Preservation. Are counties kept intact as much as possible?
Population. Is the variance from the ideal population as small as practicable?
Competitiveness. Are there districts that could be won by either party?

It seems clear to the League that the maps submitted by students and others to the Tennessee Map It Out! competition demonstrate how it is possible to use new census data for rational redistricting.

For more information see the following website: www.tnmapitout.org.


The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 90 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.



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