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Last reviewed March 2021

Minnesota Issues Resource Guides
Redistricting 2020

This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to state legislators. It introduces the topic and points to sources for further research. It is not intended to be exhaustive. 

"The representation in both houses shall be apportioned equally throughout the different sections of the state in proportion to the population thereof. [...] At its first session after each enumeration of the inhabitants of this state made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall have the power to prescribe the bounds of congressional and legislative districts." - Excerpt from the Constitution of the State of Minnesota, article IV.

As the redistricting process gets underway this page will be updated. NCSL's 2020 Census Delays and the Impact on Redistricting has more details about how the census delay impacts state legislatures. For more information about redistricing in general, please see the Overview of Reapportionment and Redistrcting in Minnesota guide. 

2020

The 2020 Census was held on April 1, 2020. When citizens responded to census forms, they told the United States Census Bureau where they lived as of April 1, 2020, and included everyone who usually lives and sleeps in their home. For the first time, citizens could choose to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Redistricting—the redrawing of congressional and legislative districts to balance them for equal population while meeting many other criteria—starts again in 2021, after new census data is released. This year, the census process has been delayed and 2020 apportionment data is expected to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, with redistricting data delivered to the states by September 30, 2021.

2021

A lawsuit was filed February 19, 2021 in the Carver County District Court as: Peter S. Wattson, Joseph Mansky, Nancy B. Greenwood, Mary E. Kupper, Douglas W. Backstrom et. al. vs Steve Simon, Kendra Olson (No. 10-CV-21-127) to prevent use of the current maps in 2022 elections. The suit asks the courts to draw the maps if there are no maps adopted by February 15, 2022. Another action was filed with the state supreme court, on February 22, 2021: Peter S. Wattson, et al., vs. Steve Simon, Respondent, Kendra Olson (No. A21-0243). On March 22, Chief Justice Gildea issued an order to form a special redistricting panel, but only after it has been determined that the Legislature has failed to issue successful redistricting plans.

The statutory deadline for establishing new congressional and legislative districts is February 15, 2022 because that is twenty-five weeks before the August 9, 2022 primary election (Minnesota Statutes, section 204B.14, subdivision 1a).

Since the redistricting data is not expected until the end of September, a special session is likely to meet the February 15, 2022 deadline.

Legislative Meeting Materials

Minnesota House of Representatives Redistricting Committee 2021-2022

Minnesota Senate Redistricting Committee 2021-2022 - Use the Hearings for 2021 - 2022 Biennium to see meeting minutes and audio.

2020 Redistricting Page - The Minnesota Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Office Web page, which will be updated with Legislative and Congressional plans.

Significant Books and Reports

Gehring, Matt. Congressional and Legislative Redistricting 2020: Timeline Scenarios. St. Paul: House Research Department, 2020. (JK6168 .C67 2020)

Gehring, Matt. Local Government Redistricting 2020. St. Paul: House Research Department, 2020.

Gehring, Matt. Minnesota Redistricting Process: A Historical Overview. St. Paul: House Research Department, 2011. (JK6168 G44 2011)

2011 Redistricting Guide. St. Paul, Minnesota Secretary of State, 2011. (JK6168 .R43 2011)

Redistricting Law 2020 [Member login required to download]. Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2019. (KF4905 .R42 2019)

General Principles and History

See the Overview of Reapportionment and Redistricting in Minnesota guide for more reports about the history of the process.

Stangl, Alexis C., and Gehring, Matt. History of Minnesota Congressional Redistricting. St. Paul: Minnesota Legislature, Senate Counsel and Research and House Research Department, 2018. (JK1343.M6 S73 2018)

Stangl, Alexis C., and Gehring, Matt. History of Minnesota Legislative Redistricting. St. Paul: Minnesota Legislature, Senate Counsel and Research and House Research Department, 2018. (JK6168 .S73 2018)

Stangl, Alexis and Erickson, Andrew. Redistricting Principles for Congressional Districts in Minnesota: 1980-2010. St. Paul: Minnesota Legislature, Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis, 2021. (JK6168 .R442 2021)

Stangl, Alexis and Erickson, Andrew. Redistricting Principles for Legislative Districts in Minnesota: 1980-2010. St. Paul: Minnesota Legislature, Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis, 2021. (JK6168 .R443 2021)

Significant Articles

(articles in reverse chronological order)

Featherly, Kevin. "Supreme Court Approves Redistricting Panel." Minnesota Lawyer, March 29, 2021.

Callaghan, Peter. "Lawsuit Pushes Minnesota's Redistricting Process into the Courts, Where it was Likely to End Up Anyway." MinnPost, February 23, 2021.

Bakst, Brian. "Political Mapmaking Heads to Familiar Spot: Minnesota's Courts." MPR News, February 22, 2021.

Henderson, Tim. "State Lawmakers Begin Once-a-Decade Redistricting Fight." Stateline, January 29, 2021.

Lowenthal, Alan S., PhD. "The Ills of Gerrymandering and Independent Redistricing Commissions as the Solution: Policy Essay." Harvard Journal on Legislation, Winter 2019. 

"Political Gerrymandering: Judicial Review of Partisan Redistricting." Supreme Court Debates, September 2019. 

Wice, Jeffrey M. and Strigari, Frank M. "Redrawing Maps the Right Way: States have an Opportunity to Make a Fresh Start and Achieve Greater Cooperation When Redistricting." State Legislatures, July/August 2019. 

Zamarripa, Christi. "Piece by Piece: There's Still Time to Learn the Basics of Redistricting Before You Tackle the Really Tough Stuff." State Legislatures, March/April 2019. 

Sturdevant, Lori. "Redistricting Reform Can't Wait; So Say Its Advocates." Star Tribune, January 28, 2019. 

Zezima, Katie. Voters are Stripping Partisan Redistricting Power From Politicians in Anti-Gerrymandering Efforts. Washington Post. November 7, 2018.

Kaul, Greta. "Half of Minnesota's U.S. House Races are Competitive this Year: do we have the Courts to Thank?" MinnPost, July 9, 2018.

Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court Sidesteps Decision on Partisan Gerrymandering." The New York Times, June 18, 2018.

"Redistricting Showdown: Should Partisan Gerrymandering be Eliminated?" CQ Researcher, August 25, 2017.

Significant Internet Resources

Census 2020 - From the U.S. Census Bureau.

Districting Principles for 2010 and Beyond - National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) webpage compares districting criteria used by each state as it redrew legislative and congressional districts following the 2010 Census. It also includes new principles adopted by Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Utah for the 2020 cycle.

Election Dates for Legislators and Governors who do Redistricting - Information from NCSL. 

Elections & Redistricting - Minnesota House Research Department publications on the topic of redistricting. 

Historical Legislative and Congressional Maps - From the Minnesota Legislature's Geographic Information Systems Office.

Laws that Relate to Minnesota Legislative and Congressional Redistricting - From the Minnesota House Research Department. 

Population data - A resource page from the Minnesota State Demographic Center. The center analyzes and distributes data from state, U.S. Census Bureau and other sources.

Redistricting - From the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, Election Administration & Campaigns Division.

Redistricting - NCSL's resource for information on the process, law and technology necessary for redistricting. See also their State Redistricting Commissions: State Legislative Plans page, Creation of Redistricting Commissions page, and 2020 Census Delays and the Impact on Redistricting.  

Redistricting Reform - League of Women Voters: Minnesota web page with information on redistricting.

Redistricting and the Supreme Court: The Most Significant Cases - NCSL's overview of the most significant Supreme Court decisions on redistricting from the last five decades.

Redistricting 2020 - Information from the Minnesota Legislature's Geographic Information Systems Office.

Additional Library Resources

For newspaper articles on the topic since 2009, check our Minnesota News Archive, Redistricting/Reapportionment 73.0

For materials prior to 2009, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping File and the Vertical File:

  • A34 - Apportionment

For additional reports with a Minnesota focus available through the Legislative Reference Library, use this Library catalog search:
Apportionment (Minnesota); Redistricting (Minnesota).

For further information on redistricting see:

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