Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Tennessee

Process

State Legislature

Tennessee's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the Legislature by ordinary statute, and are subject to the Governor's veto. The Legislature can override vetoes with a simple majority vote in each chamber.

Criteria

While Tennessee, like all states, must follow the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Tennessee’s state constitution does not list additional criteria. However, Tennessee’s state statutes (Code §§ 3-1-102, 103) do require that state legislative districts be contiguous and preserve political subdivisions. There are no state law requirements for drawing congressional districts.

Public Input

Tennessee law does not require public hearings for redistricting. It does not appear that such hearings took place in 2012. However, Lieutenant Governor and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey did invite the public to submit their own maps using publicly available data. In addition, the League of Women Voters held a statewide competition offering up to $4,000 in prizes, encouraging the public to get involved in the redistricting process.

Issues

Pitfalls

Both chambers of the Legislature and the  Governorship are controlled by Republicans. If single-party control remains when it is time to draw new maps, there will be an increased risk of partisan gerrymandering.

Census Delays

  • State legislative redistricting plan deadline: no statutory deadline
  • Congressional redistricting plan deadline: no statutory deadline

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. As Tennessee has no statutory deadline for either state legislative or congressional redistricting, the data delay should have little to no impact. Redistricting will likely take place normally during the 2022 legislative session. 

History

In the last cycle, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey repeatedly stated that the 2012 redistricting process was the most open and transparent in state history. While it is true that Ramsey made redistricting data more widely available, the rushed and secretive process of passing plans through the Legislature left almost no room for public input. The state legislative and congressional maps were unveiled to the public on January 4 and 6, and they were adopted on January 13.

Actions

In 2020, support state legislative candidates who favor fair districting. The entire Tennessee House and half of the Tennessee Senate will be up for re-election in 2020.

In 2021, submit maps to the Office of Legal Services and attend public hearings, if held.

  • Obtain Tennessee redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy should the Legislature collect feedback in the 2021 cycle.
  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Read policy guides to inform future reform efforts.

  • Think Tennessee released a state-specific policy brief in 2019 reflecting on the issues with the last redistricting cycle, as well as best practices moving forward.
  • The Common Cause Activist Handbook on Redistricting Reform outlines what reforms have been successful in the past, and what steps to take to enact reform in the future. 

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by legislature
State Boundaries: Drawn by legislature
Legislative Control: Republican
Governor's Political Party: Republican
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020