Nesting (voting districts)

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Nesting is the delimitation of voting districts for one elected body in order to define the voting districts for another body.1 For example, in California, the State Assembly (the lower house) is composed of 80 members, each one representing 1/80th of California's population, and the State Senate (the upper house) is composed of 40 members, each one representing 1/40th of California's population. In this case, the process of nesting could either be first defining the 80 Assembly districts, and then defining the Senate districts as a merge of two Assembly districts, or first defining the 40 Senate districts, and then creating the Assembly districts by splitting each Senate district into two. If the Assembly districts and the Senate districts are created independently of each other, then the process of nesting is not used.

The major concerns of nesting are:

  • the practice may impede the creation of majority-minority districts
  • the practice may cause cities or other communities with common concerns to be split into different voting districts (and therefore dilute their votes)

US States which perform nesting

The US States which have nesting (with the ratio of lower house to upper)

References

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