Why map your community?

Map with community selected

Mapping your community and identifying its shared interests allows public officials to take your community’s concerns into account during redistricing.

What is

video placeholder image

Every ten years, the United States draws new voting districts. District lines decide who votes for which representatives in local, state, and federal elections.

What is gerrymandering?

Districts illustration with pencil

Politicians have been splitting up or packing together communities into voting districts that silence their voices. Mapping your community of interest helps fight gerrymandering.

What is a Community of Interest?

A Community of Interest is a geographic area that shares cultural, historical, or economic interests.

Districts illustration with pencil
Your neighborhood
Districts illustration with pencil
People you want to choose representatives with
Districts illustration with pencil
A local group connected by an interest

Redistricting in your state:

In New Jersey, maps are drawn by two different politician-appointed, bipartisan commissions. The Redistricting Commission, responsible for congressional redistricting, has thirteen members, with the four legislative leaders and the chairs of the two major political parties each selecting two, and these twelve members selecting an independent member to serve as chair. The Apportionment Commission, responsible for state legislative redistricting, initially has ten members; the chairs of the two major parties each select five, and in the case that the ten commissioners cannot agree on a plan, the Supreme Court appoints the eleventh member.

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, New Jersey’s state constitution requires that state legislative districts: 

  • be compact
  • be contiguous
  • preserve whole counties

In the redistricting process, your state doesn't yet require consideration of communities of interest (COIs), but citizens can still present their own COIs to the redistricting commissions to advocate for fair representation. A community of interest is a population that shares cultural, historical, demographic, or economic interests. Communities of interest do not necessarily share the same political viewpoints or support for certain candidates or political parties.

See community maps drawn in New Jersey