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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Do congressional representatives need to live in their district?
What is redistricting?
What districts are affected by redistricting?
When do the new boundaries take effect?
How can I see the state redistricting plans?
When will precincts be reestablished?
What if the redistricting of city ward boundaries results in a city council member residing in another ward?
What about city wards?
When will county commissioner districts be changed?
How equal in population are commissioner districts supposed to be?
If a county commissioner’s term is not up in 2012, do they need to run again?
Do school districts redistrict?
Do Soil & Water Conservation Districts redistrict?
When will the Polling Place Finder be updated?
Can I get a map of the new congressional and legislative districts?
When will voter information lists be available from OSS?

Q: Do congressional representatives need to live in their district?
A:

Congressional representatives need to be inhabitants of the state they represent on election day (see Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the US Constitution).

See the Filing for Office page for more information on candidate filing.

Q: What is redistricting?
A:
Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of election districts to ensure that the people of each district are equally represented.  In the U.S., it takes place every 10 years following the decennial Census.
Q: What districts are affected by redistricting?
A:
Congressional and legislative districts (both MN House and Senate) statewide will change, at least to some degree.  County commissioner districts, city wards, and school board member districts also may need to be adjusted due to changes in population.
Q: When do the new boundaries take effect?
A:
The new, redistricted boundaries are in effect as of the state primary on August 14, 2012.
Q: How can I see the state redistricting plans?
A:
The congressional and legislative plans will be available from the Special Redistricting Panel and the Legislative Coordinating Commission-GIS.
Q: When will precincts be reestablished?
A:
Municipalities and counties with unorganized territory must reestablish their precincts after the state redistricting plan is released.  They must complete this process no later than April 3, 2012.
Q: What if the redistricting of city ward boundaries results in a city council member residing in another ward?
A:
Council members may continue to serve for the remainder of their term.  However, if the council member runs again, they will need to file for office in the ward in which they reside.
Q: What about city wards?
A:
Redistricting for city wards has the same time frame as precincts and must be completed by April 3rd.
Q: When will county commissioner districts be changed?
A:
County commissioner districts must consist of the precincts reestablished in 2012, so the commissioner district boundaries cannot be finalized until precincts in each county are reestablished.  Commissioner districts must be approved by May 1, 2012.
Q: How equal in population are commissioner districts supposed to be?
A:
Commissioner districts should be within 10 percent of the average for all districts in the county, but may be outside this range if it would force a precinct to be split.
Q: If a county commissioner’s term is not up in 2012, do they need to run again?
A:
If the population change due to redistricting is less than 5% of the average district size in the county, then they are not required to run again before their term is up.  Even if the boundary is adjusted so that they are no longer residing in their district, they may serve out the remainder of their term so long as they remain a resident of the county.
Q: Do school districts redistrict?
A:
If school districts elect some or all of their board members by district (instead of at large, where all voters vote for every seat), then the school board must either confirm existing election district boundaries or redefine those boundaries by May 1, 2012.
Q: Do Soil & Water Conservation Districts redistrict?
A:
Except for those in Washington County, SWCD supervisors are all elected by all voters in that entire Soil & Water district, so there is no need to redistrict.  In Washington County, the Soil & Water district is organized so that voters only vote for the SWCD supervisor representing their area.  The Washington SWCD should redistrict by May 1, 2012.
Q: When will the Polling Place Finder be updated?
A:
County auditors update address ranges which are used by the Secretary of State's Polling Place Finder. We expect it will be fully updated for redistricted boundaries in mid-May.
Q: Can I get a map of the new congressional and legislative districts?
A:
You will be able to view pdf maps of each district or an interactive online map at the Legislative GIS website: http://www.gis.leg.mn/redist2010/plans.html.  You may also order printed maps from the Secretary of State, but note that the maps will not have precinct boundaries on them until after precincts are reestablished and those changes compiled. Find example maps and the order form on the Maps page.
Q: When will voter information lists be available from OSS?
A:

Voter information lists will continue to be available throughout this process, with old precinct and district information for each voter.  If you would like post-redistricting precinct and district information on your voter list, please specify that on your order and we will fulfill it when that information is available.  We anticipate that data will be fully updated in mid-May.

For more information on voter information lists, including an order form, see the Voter Information Requests page.

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