Redistricting FAQ's

    What is redistricting?

    Redistricting is a federally and state-mandated process by which states redraw their legislative district boundaries using the most recent decennial data from the U.S. Census Bureau. There are numerous criteria each district must meet, including containing a relatively similar population size and meeting guidelines concerning contiguity, compactness, maintaining a majority-minority population and following natural boundaries.

    Why must states redraw their legislative districts?

    In short: legislative districts should all have roughly the same number of residents. Yet as the population grows and shifts throughout the state year after year, some communities gain a significant number of residents, while others see a decrease, making it necessary to redraw legislative districts.

    The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a thorough count of all residents every 10 years, and that data is used to craft new legislative districts that have approximately equal numbers of residents and thus that Americans are equally and fairly represented.

    What is the process for redistricting? How long will it take?

    Under current Delaware law, the responsibility of redrawing state legislative districts every 10 years rests with the General Assembly.

    The U.S. Census Bureau will transmit its data to the state, at which time it will be uploaded into a computer mapping program, allowing for the House and Senate redistricting teams to analyze population changes and begin the process of drawing draft legislative maps accordingly. Each chamber is responsible for developing maps of its own legislative districts, meaning the House is charged with redrawing lines for representative districts and the Senate is charged with redrawing lines for senatorial districts.

    Upon completion, the draft maps will be posted publicly for residents to review and offer comment. Each chamber will hold public hearings to solicit additional input and will then review the comments before making final revisions to the maps.

    Once the new districts are completed, the General Assembly will vote on legislation setting the boundaries for all 62 legislative districts over the next decade.

    What are the main criteria and requirements you must follow for redistricting?

    All states must comply with constitutional requirements related to population while preventing discrimination through the dilution of minority communities.

    The total population of Delaware based on the 2020 Census is 989,940, meaning the standard population number for each of the 21 Senate districts is 47,140, and the standard population for each of the 41 House districts is 24,145. In an effort to keep communities and neighborhoods intact, some deviation from these numbers is permitted. For purposes of legislative redistricting, we are generally required to have a plan in which the total population of each district does not deviate from the standard population number by more than +/- 5%.

    All states also must comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits redistricting plans from discriminating on the basis of race by diluting the votes of certain minority groups. 

    In addition, traditional redistricting criteria include:

    • Compactness of the district boundaries.
    • Contiguity of the districts.
    • Preservation of counties and other political subdivisions.
    • Preservation of communities of interest.
    • Preservation of any existing majority-minority districts (districts where more than half the population is a minority) and creating new majority-minority districts whenever reasonable.


    How can the public participate in the redistricting process and provide comment?

    Residents can submit their plans, suggestions, and requests in writing via the Redistricting Comments form below or e-mail to or Only written comments will be accepted during this period. Comments can be specific or general, such as requests to keep certain neighborhoods together, place adjoining communities in the same district, etc.

    Once the Senate and House have drawn the draft maps, they will post the drafts on this site for the public to review. Each chamber will hold public hearings on their respective proposals. They will take those comments and feedback and make final revisions to the district maps.

    How are the new district maps approved? What happens after that?

    Legislative leaders will introduce the final maps as legislation. There will be one bill for all 62 legislative districts, detailing the boundaries of each district.

    The General Assembly will convene a special session this fall to consider the final redistricting bill. Once it has been approved by the House and Senate, it will go to Governor Carney for his signature.

    The new legislative districts will take effect for the 2022 general election. Candidates in that election must reside in those new districts, and immediately following the November 8, 2022 election, legislators will begin representing constituents within those new district lines.