Kentucky
Congressional BoundariesDrawn by legislature
State BoundariesDrawn by legislature
Governor's PartyDemocratic
Legislative PartyRepublican

Communities of Interest

Check out Communities of Interest collected in this state on Representable

Learn about Communities of Interest in this state

Census-related Redistricting Timeline Delays

State Legislative

Alert:
Guarded

Congressional

Alert:
Guarded

Process

State Legislature

Kentucky's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the state 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

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Kentucky’s state constitution (Leg. § 33) requires that state legislative and congressional districts be contiguous and avoid county splits. Additionally, Kentucky adopted guidelines in 1991 that preserved communities of interest in congressional redistricting. It is unclear if those guidelines have been readopted.

Public Input

No public hearings are required by Kentucky law, and it appears that none were held in the 2011 redistricting cycle.

2011 Cycle

In the 2011 redistricting cycle, Kentucky faced several legal challenges:

  • In Fischer v. Grimes, plaintiffs challenged the state legislative districts on the basis of unequal population, partisan gerrymandering, and state constitutional violations. The trial court found that the legislative plans did violate equal population and unnecessarily split counties; the Legislature was ordered to redraw maps, and the 2012 elections proceeded with the 2002 plan. The state Supreme Court affirmed the decision.
  • In Brown v. Kentucky, plaintiffs sued in federal court over the Legislature’s failure to redraw lines, citing dilution of voting power due to malapportionment. Plaintiffs chose not to contest after new lines were drawn in a special session in August 2013.

Issues

Pitfalls

Kentucky presents a challenging case for advocates of fair districting. There is no public input process, and redistricting is under single-party control. Even with a Democrat as governor, Republicans can override a veto to a redistricting plan by a simple majority vote.

Potential Reform

House Bill 326, also known as the Fair Maps Act, was filed in the Kentucky Legislature in January 2020. The Act would have created a 15-member Advisory Redistricting Commission to draw maps for referral to the General Assembly. The bill died in committee in April.

Actions

Support reform efforts to create a redistricting advisory commission by partnering with organizations like the League of Women Voters of Kentucky and contacting your representatives. 

Contacts

League of Women Voters of Kentucky

Common Cause Kentucky

Together Frankfort

Sources

All About Redistricting

NCSL

Ballotpedia