Welcome to a project working to draw fair voting district maps for New Hampshire! The Map-a-Thon is supported by a coalition of NH groups who work for fair voting maps, including Granite State Progress, the League of Women Voters of NH, Open Democacy, Open Democracy Teams, and the Kent Street Coalition.
Learn the Basics About Redistricting
Learn about Redistricting -- The two-hour "Redistricting Forum" workshop helps voters and activists understand NH's checkered past of gerrymandering and partisan redistricting in its Special Committee on Redistricting.
Fair Redistricting Workshop -- This July 26, 2021, 70-min workshop on YouTube delves into the building blocks of fair redistricting in New Hampshire, and was designed to help legislators, the press and the public understand the unique and challenging aspects of redistricting in the Granite State. https://youtu.be/lWVWNsVF-8E
An Overview for Redistricting -- The Brennan Center at NYU is a leading authority on redistricting policy.
Volunteer to Help or Take Action
NH Map-a-Thon - Citizen Mapping Project Action Page - Small but powerful actions you can take to push the NH Legislature to conduct a fair, nonpartisan and transparent redistricting process.
Communities of Interest
One of the cornerstones of fair redistricting includes "Communities of Interest," which are issues, shared resources, and cultural ties which bind communities and neighborhoods together. Proper voting districts keep these communities together whenever possible. See the original survey used to collect data https://forms.gle/jt36TdDWZxRJ89yz7\
See the Map-a-Thon's Voting District Maps
Because New Hampshire doesn't have an independent redistricting commission, two partisan committees in the NH House and the NH Senate draw the NH House, NH Senate, NH Executive Council, NH's seats for U.S. Congress, and County Commission. The Map-a-Thon project maps compare 2010 maps withe 2020 maps modeling techniques used by an independent redistricting commission.
WHAT MAKES MAP-A-THON'S NH VOTING DISTRICT MAPS FAIR
In New Hampshire, our Constitution is vague as to how new voting districts should be apportioned every 10 years, as the U.S. Constitution stipulates. Unlike other states with independent, nonpartisan commissions drawing the lines, committees are formed by the NH Speaker of the House and the NH President of the Senate. These committees reflect the partisan makeup of the whole body, which in the House in 2021 is 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats. In 2011, this process was done largely behind closed doors by the majority, with little input from either Republican or Democrat members, and what input was given by the public was ignored. As a result, Executive Council, Senate and House districts were all manipulated for partisan purposes.
In 2021, the Map-a-Thon has involved over 200 citizens from all over the state.
During Map-a-Thon I through III, the volunteers in the Map-a-Thon facilitated acquiring "Communities of Interest" data from towns around NH, then prioritized those communities of interest to guide the smaller mapping and tech team comprised of engineers, database specialists and GIS mapping experts.
In preparation for mapping, the mapping and tech team took the process further by learning the U.S. and NH Constitutional requirements, the NH Supreme Court Law, and the statute and non-statute requirements and customs. The NH Constitutional requirements, a 2006 amendment, the large number number or reps and other factors make meeting the Constitutional mandates for the NH House make it particularly difficult. However, Map-a-Thon volunteers have made significant advances without gerrymandering, in stark contrast to past efforts of the Special Committee on Redistricting.
Before you review the maps
There are a few things for you to know about the challenges of drawing voting district maps in New Hampshire. Some of these challenges have also been used to hide manipulation of districts for partisan advantage, so Granite Staters should understand how the process works.
- Check out our Fair Redistricting Workshop on YouTube, featuring Yurij Rudensky of the Brennan Center, one of the nation's leading authorities in a fair redistricting process. You'll learn about the building blocks of fair, nonpartisan redistricting.
- The NH House Special Committee on Redistricting website - Contains the limited documentation made public in 2011, and the NH Supreme Court ruling. It does not provide insight into the proprietary software that the Special Committee will be using for NH House Districts.
- The NH Constitution, part 2, Article 9 & 11 and 2006 Constitutional amendment "Amended November 7, 2006 to enable towns with sufficient population to have their own representative district and permits the use of floterial districts." The sufficient population number in 2010 was 3,291, and in 2020 was 3,444. In 2011, 152 towns were eligible, but 62 of those towns did not receive their own House District, violating the Constitution as amended.
- New Hampshire's unique -and problematic - floterial districts
- The NH Supreme Court's 2002 Ruling on the "Aggregate Method" vs. the "Component Method" of Calculating Floterial Districts -- The NH Supreme Court took issue with the traditional method of residual population and recommended the "Component Method" to better allocate representation in floterial districts. In combination with the 2006 NH Constitutional Amendment, using this method to calculate floterial districts, limited the number of towns which could mathematically receive their own regular House district.
- The Alternative Component Method from Map-a-Thon mapping & tech team volunteer, David Andrew, to more efficiently calculate floterial districts. This method modifies the court's recommendation by allowing deviations +/-5% deviations to be considered when calculating floterial districts, thus allowing for more flexibility in getting eligible towns their own NH House district.
See the Map-a-Thon's Citizen-Drawn Voting Maps for NH
Vote-by-mail absentee ballots have been used in New Hampshire since 1775, and 7-10% of ballots cast in NH elections are by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are traditionally used when the voter will be out of state or far away from their town, on religious holidays, and other reasons specified below. There are two applications, one for town elections, and another for state and federal elections. For any questions specific to your town, your city or town clerk is the primary election officials dealing with absentee ballots.
Those issues which pertain specifically to absentee voting during the Covid 19 pandemic are listed in dark red, below.
Voting by Absentee Ballot in NH - Normal Circumstances
- Physical disability (and for 2020, concern with COVID-19)
- Religious observance
- Absence from City on day of election
- Employment obligations. For the purpose of absentee voting, the term "employment" shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.