221 Commissioner Redistricting
Redistricting is the way we change the districts that determine who represents us. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Census Bureau is required to conduct an “actual enumeration” of “all persons” in the United States every 10 years, meaning it is their responsibility to count the “whole number of persons in each State.” The census conducted in 2020 was the twenty-fourth time such a count has taken place.
In Nevada, all of our federal and state legislators are elected from districts. Here in Clark County, our county commissioners are similarly elected from districts designed to be equally populated. These districts divide the people who live here into geographical territories. District lines subdivide our county; there are seven districts within Clark County and one elected commissioner for each of those seven separate districts. Clark County’s policy and requirements for established County Commission election districts are outlined the Clark County Code of Ordinances. In a series of cases starting in the 1960s, the Supreme Court determined that population disparity violated the U.S. Constitution. The Court required roughly equal population for all legislative districts. This meant that district boundaries would have to be periodically readjusted to account for new population information. Clark County uses the federal census data to redraw its district boundaries in furtherance of the principal of “one person, one vote.” So now, after the Census is conducted at the start of a new decade, we redraw our district boundaries.
This is the process we know as redistricting.
Redistricting is important because the Constitution and the federal courts require it. It is also the fair and equitable thing to do. Historically, many states and counties did not redistrict to reflect shifts and growth in their populations. In a series of cases in the 1960s, one of which coined the phrase “one person, one vote,” the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed “equality” of voting power and that the electoral systems in states and counties which failed to allocate voting power on the basis of population were unconstitutional. According to the 2020 Census data, nearly all of Clark County’s population growth this last decade was due to the growth in communities of color. Redistricting is an opportunity to ensure that our maps reflect our county’s growing diversity. The goal of redistricting is to provide fair and effective representation for all. We welcome your feedback on the process and encourage you to submit your comments to redistricting@ClarkCountyNV.gov
Redistricting criteria commonly reflect a combination of state and federal statutes, judicial interpretations, and historical practices. They may be viewed as efforts to provide fair representation for residents and prevent arbitrary or discriminatory boundaries. Certain federal standards apply to House districts, related to population equality and minority protections, but other standards are largely determined by states and counties.
Here in Clark County, our districts are redrawn based on six criteria: compactness, contiguity, racial balance and minority opportunity, preservation of communities, respect for neighborhood boundaries and commonalities of interest, and equal distribution of the county’s population. Federal and state law allows for a population deviation of as much as ten percent between districts; Clark County is once again determined to keep the variation to less than two percent. Where there is an opportunity to create a majority-minority district, we will endeavor to do so.
Current Political Boundaries
Board of County Commissioners Home Page
Clark County Code of Ordinances: Chapter 3.36
Political District Maps
Free Tools to draw your own district lines
ESRI Redistricting (Sign up for a free 21-day trial)
StateNevada Legislature’s public redistricting application
Clark County, NV Profile: 2020 Census
Population Finder: Clark County, NV
2020 County QuickFacts: Clark County, NV