Louisiana
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

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Congressional

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Process

State Legislature

Louisiana'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 two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Criteria

While Louisiana must, like all states, follow the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Louisiana’s state constitution does not list additional criteria. That being said, Louisiana’s state legislative committees adopted additional rules in 2011 that mandate districts to be contiguous and respect political subdivisions. However, the Legislature can change these guidelines at any time, in any way.

Public Input

The Louisiana legislature has released its 2020 redistricting website, where the public can find relevant information and contacts.

While Louisiana law does not require public hearings, the 2011 adopted rules stipulated that “the committee seeks active and informed public participation in all of its activities.” To that end, there were nine public hearings held across the state in February and March. It is likely that there will be similar opportunities for public input in 2021.

2011 Cycle

In the 2011 redistricting cycle, plaintiffs brought a Voting Rights Act Section 2 claim in federal court (Johnson v. Ardoin), challenging Louisiana's 5th and 6th congressional districts as cracking minority voters and the 2nd congressional district as packing minority voters. Most recently, in April 2020, the court defended its ruling to reject the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Issues

Pitfalls

On November 16, 2019, Governor John Bel Edwards won re-election, keeping split-party control over the redistricting process in Louisiana, but state House Republicans are only two votes shy of the supermajority required to override Edwards’ veto. 

This will be Louisiana’s first cycle without the protections of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was struck down in the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder. In the absence of preclearance requirements for communities of color, observers should closely monitor every step of the redistricting process to ensure fair treatment for all.

Potential Reform

In 2020, legislators introduced a package of redistricting reform legislation.

  • Among the legislation introduced was HB565, a bill seeking to create a public-facing website for redistricting data. This would include precinct shapefiles, census and voter registration data, and easy-to-understand answers to redistricting questions. No action was taken on HB565 before the 2020 regular session ended on June 1, 2020. Similar legislation (HCR14 and SCR17) was introduced in the special session, but also received no action before adjournment on June 30, 2020.
  • The other pieces of legislation included creating an 18-member advisory redistricting commision, ending prison gerrymandering, and allowing vote-by-mail for all voters. The bill ending prison gerrymandering was voted out of committee but received no House floor vote. Each of these bills thus received no major action before the regular session adjourned. Two bills (HCR15 and SCR18) to create an advisory commission were introduced during the special session, but these too died without a hearing. 

Actions

Partner with state-specific organizations like Fair Districts Louisiana and League of Women Voters of Louisiana to learn more and take action in your own community.

Participate in the Legislature’s public input process.

  • Obtain Louisiana 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 once the commission starts collecting feedback.
  • 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.

Contacts

Fair Districts Louisiana

Common Cause Louisiana

League of Women Voters of Louisiana

Sources

All About Redistricting

NCSL

Ballotpedia