Community as a Redistricting Principle: Consulting Media Markets in Drawing District Lines
Indiana Law Journal Supplement, Vol. 5, 2010
6 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2010 Last revised: 13 Apr 2013
Date Written: July 6, 2010
The redistricting debate generally focuses on who should draw the lines, how to keep them from drawing for partisan advantage, and the best way to draw minority districts. Community as a Redistricting Principle addresses the largely over-looked area of media markets. Districts drawn in conformity with media markets experience higher voter turnout. Moreover, linking a city and its economically-connected suburbs together is simply common sense.
This paper discusses the impact of district conformity, or lack thereof, with media market boundaries on campaign strategy, news reporting, voter participation, grassroots organizing, and candidate recruitment. It examines two examples of poorly-drawn districts before proposing: that line-drawers consider community boundaries – typically delineated by media markets – in creating districts; that courts consider this among the various factors when deciding between competing plans; and that future scholarship and proposals for reform also examine media markets.
Keywords: Redistricting, media markets
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