Summary of Redistricting Provisions in the Freedom to Vote Act


Fabiola Rodriguez

The Freedom to Vote Act includes powerful new protections to restore fairness to the redistricting process and ban excessive partisan gerrymandering in congressional maps. 

  • Bans Partisan Gerrymandering: The Freedom to Vote Act bans partisan gerrymandering, preventing states from adopting congressional maps that unduly favor a political party.

    • Maps will be measured against concrete numerical thresholds for each state, created by political scientists using quantitative metrics of partisan fairness.  
    • Courts will also be able to look broadly at the maps and mapmakers’ intent to determine whether they are unduly favoring a political party.

  • Strengthens Protections for Communities of Color: By bolstering Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the Freedom to Vote Act requires districts be drawn to represent communities of interest, including communities that share racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Requires States to Adopt Transparent and Fair Processes for Maps: The Freedom to Vote Act allows states to enact redistricting plans using their legislature, a commission, or any other entity — provided they hold public hearings, accept public input, adhere to transparency requirements, and explain how final plans adhere to the Voting Rights Act and the ban on partisan gerrymandering.
  • Takes Effect Immediately, Applies to All 2022 Maps: The Freedom to Vote Act can be used to challenge any unfair maps ahead of the 2022 elections, and courts may not allow an illegal map to be used simply because an election is imminent.

    • Any resident may sue their state in federal court for violating the redistricting provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act, and if the court finds the law has been violated, it may either draw a new map or require the state to redraw its map.