Map Across America: A National Redistricting Competition

Jillian Long
Sep 29 · 4 min read

DistrictBuilder and the Public Mapping Project are pleased to announce a redistricting contest, Map Across America, in five pivotal states. After careful consideration, we’ve selected five states that have had strong claims of gerrymandering in the past decade. The contest is open NOW until November 1 at 12am ET. Judging will take place the first two weeks of November and a winner will be announced on November 15. We will accept maps produced from the following five state’s chambers:

  • Illinois State House or State Senate
  • Florida Congressional, State Senate, or State House
  • Pennsylvania Congressional
  • North Carolina Congressional
  • Wisconsin State Senate or Wisconsin Assembly

Who is judging the maps?

Map submissions will be judged by three individuals active in the redistricting space.

Dr. Lee Hachadoorian is an assistant professor of instruction in Temple University’s Department of Geography & Urban Studies, and the assistant director of the professional science master’s in geographic information systems. Lee also works with the Concerned Citizens for Democracy and has done extensive geospatial research as it pertains to redistricting.

Dr. Micah Altman is a social and information scientist at MIT’s Center for Research in Equitable and Open Scholarship. Micah conducts research in social science, information science, and research methods and is an academic partner for DistrictBuilder.

Philip Hensley is a Democracy Policy Analyst with the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. Philip is no stranger to mapping contests — he won back in 2018.

Five total winners will be selected from the following categories:

Category 1- Partisan Fairness: One overall map will be selected as the winner that most closely resembles the partisan lean of the state. This could be by proportional representation or another method of your choice. This map can be from any of the five states.

Category 2- Majority-Minority District Representation: One overall map will be selected as the winner that presents minorities (Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native, or Pacific Islander) a chance to elect the representative of their choice will be awarded to one mapper. This isn’t necessarily the most majority-minority districts, but a map that best reflects the state’s population and geographic makeup. This map can be from any of the five states.

Category 3- Judges Award: Each judge will select one map that they believe fairly represents the state through a combination of competitiveness, minority representation, respect for communities of interest, and minimizing county splits (3 maps total, 1 from each judge). These maps can be from any of the five states.

What can I win?

Each winning mapper will be awarded a $100 gift card to either Best Buy, Grubhub, or Etsy plus the Gerrymandering Board Game.

PLUS! One random contestant who posts their DistrictBuilder map and URL of any state on Twitter will be eligible to win a $50 gift card to either Best Buy, Grubhub, or Etsy. Just mention @DistrictBuilder at the end of your tweet and use the hashtag #MapAcrossAmerica.

How can I enter?

  1. Sign in or create an account at app.districtbuilder.org.
  2. Click “Join Organization” for the Public Mapping Project state page you will be creating maps for:

3. Draw a map for any of the legislatures listed at the top of the page. When you click Create Map, make sure to select the Public Mapping Project organization for your state!

4. Once you’ve finished your map, use this form to submit your maps before midnight ET on November 1. The submission must contain a short (200–300 word) narrative of the map which should explain how you have complied with the judging criteria as well as all commonly accepted and state criteria for Congressional and Legislative districts.

5. Follow @DistrictBuilder on Twitter to post your map and follow the competition.

Rules:

  1. Maps must be drawn using DistrictBuilder software. Imported maps drawn in other software will not be accepted.
  2. Only one map may be submitted for each legislature.
  3. Maps should meet all legal requirements for the state that they are drawn. (See state redistricting criteria on this page)

Disclaimer: Judges will analyze maps by looking objectively at the criteria in the three categories above as well as subjectively by taking into account the narratives submitted with each map.

We hope you are as excited as we are to kick off this competition! If you have any questions about drawing maps or signing up for the competition, please contact districtbuilder@azavea.com. Follow our Twitter page @DistrictBuilder where we will be providing regular updates. Good Luck!

DistrictBuilder

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