Electoral and Representational Equality

statehouseUnderlying our system of representative democracy are two related concepts: “electoral equality”—that each person’s vote should count approximately the same as every other person’s vote, and “representational equality”—that each elected representative should represent approximately the same number of people.

Thus, the much-quoted idea of “one-person-one-vote” means much more than banning individual voters from voting more than once in the same election.  It also means that the number of people represented by each member of a governmental body needs to be approximately equal.  If one person on an elected body represents 1,000 people while another represents only 500, then the people in the more populous district are underrepresented. 

 In order to maintain approximate electoral and representational equality, all governmental bodies in the United States except the US Senate are required to redistrict every 10 years if the members of that body are elected to represent specific districts.  Federal and state courts have consistently upheld this requirement as it applies to local governments. Yet the mandate to redistrict has been flouted for decades by Indiana local governments, with the acquiescence of state officials, including the Indiana Elections Division and the Indiana General Assembly.  

Special Thanks

We would like to give a special thank you to the following individuals for their help in this project:

Beth Wilkerson - GIS Specialist

Greg Screws - GIS Intern

Rob Crawley - DPU Printing Services

Joe Smith - DPU Printing Services

Kelsey Kauffman - Program Advisor

Shelby Bremer - Student Intern

Richard Walsh - Student Intern