Process Failure and Transparency Reform in Local Redistricting

Election Law Journal, Issue 11, Vol. 4 (2012)

SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-022

47 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012

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Redistricting reform during this cycle has pushed for greater transparency, more public participation, the removal of redistricting from the hands of legislatures, and the design of more legitimate institutions and decision procedures. Reform efforts are generally focused on statewide and congressional redistricting, but mostly ignore thousands of local redistrictings across the country. Local redistricting often takes place under the radar, varies between jurisdictions, is subject to different institutional arrangements and political dynamics, and is more vulnerable to process failure. This article advances a policy proposal to reform local redistricting that weds aspects of several contemporary governance approaches – including so-called “New Institutionalism” and “Third-Generation Transparency” methods. It argues that states should establish centralized statewide redistricting clearinghouses for local redistricting (RDCs). The proposal envisions adapting new technologies to address process failures, but leaving existing local institutional arrangements in place.

Keywords: Redistricting, Transparency, Elections, Law of Democracy, Redistricting Clearinghouse, Redistricting Reform, Political Process Regulation, Local Government, Local Redistricting, Redistricting Data, Voting Rights Act, New York , New Governance, Democracy Index, Public Mapping, Preclearance,

Suggested Citation

Halberstam, Michael, Process Failure and Transparency Reform in Local Redistricting. Election Law Journal, Issue 11, Vol. 4 (2012), SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-022, Available at SSRN:

Michael Halberstam (Contact Author)

The Chandra Law Firm ( email )

1265 West 6th Street, Ste 400
The Chandra Law Building
Cleveland, OH 44113
United States
646-285-6281 (Phone)


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