The AAPI Caucus will be sharing information on key issues affecting the coming elections that will impact AAPI communities at both the state and federal levels. In this post we provide an update on redistricting, gerrymandering and the impact on representative Asian Americans and their communities.
Redistricting Update - April 2022
Congressional maps delineating district borders must be redrawn every ten years after the decennial census to account for shifts in population, to ensure that districts are correctly mapped to represent changing populations and communities. As the current redistricting process which began in 2021 nears its conclusion, there appears to be a shift of 12 congressional seats to the Democrats. But the Republicans are also seeing an increase of seats, and with complex litigation in some states regarding redistricting and a conservative Supreme Court, there will be an uphill battle to maintain the house majority.
As of April 4, 2022, 41 out of 44 states have now finished the redistricting maps (Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are not required to do redistricting as they only have one congressional representative). Three states, Florida, Missouri and New Hampshire, have yet to approve a new map. As reported by the Brendan Center for Justice in their March 2022 Redistricting Update, 67 cases across the U.S. have challenged newly passed congressional or legislative maps as racially discriminatory or partisan gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is a process where districts are redrawn based on who gets elected, rather than representative of changing populations and communities. In 2019 the Supreme Court ruled that cases related to redistricting should be heard at the state rather than the federal level. While the Constitution prohibits racial discrimination in redistricting, this ruling now allows challenges to redistricting maps which had addressed growing ethnic communities, arguing that the claims are not racially discriminatory, but against partisan gerrymandering, opening the door to further disenfranchisement of communities of color. These rulings at the state level and Supreme Court rulings may further negatively impact the enactment of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as potentially impact the Democrats control of the House of Representatives next year.
In some states in this current process, Asian American groups and multiracial coalitions have successfully advocated for districts reflective of their communities including the first ever Asian American district in Chicago’s Chinatown, and adding districts with high Asian American populations in California and New York, among others.
Redistricting to date has produced some improvements for some communities, while disenfranchising others and unfairly affecting voter representation in the elections this year and years to come. Voter advocacy and outreach will continue to be critical.
For more information and a state by state analysis, see
For additional information on redistricting and Asian American communities, check out our briefing here.