Prof. Justin Levitt's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

Delaware

State Summary

Delaware has only one congressional district.  State lines are drawn by the legislature, as normal legislation.

In the 2010 cycle, the legislature passed a legislative plan (HB 210) on June 30, 2011, which was signed by the Governor on July 8, 2011.  On Jan. 26, 2012, the legislature adjusted the plan somewhat with HB 250, which was signed on Feb. 3, 2012.

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Seats:

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
  Lower House:
  Governor:

Key Info for 2010 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Key Info for 2020 Cycle

Primary governing law

Data

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Institution

Delaware has only one congressional district.

Delaware’s state legislative lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

Timing

The legislature’s deadline for producing plans is June 30, 2021, though this deadline is set by statute, and may be altered by the legislature. [29 Del. Code § 805] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by July 12, 2022. [15 Del. Code § 3101(1)]

At the moment, the legislative session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 12, 2021 and end on June 30, 2021.

Delaware also prohibits redrawing lines mid-decade, before the next Census; this constraint is also set by statute, and may be altered by the legislature. [29 Del. Code § 805]

Public input

The legislature has not yet announced any specific plans or guidelines for public input.

Criteria

Like all states, Delaware must comply with constitutional equal population requirements, and state statutes further specify that districts must be “nearly equal in population.”  Delaware will also  adjust census data in order to count incarcerated individuals at their last known residence before incarceration. [29 Del. Code §§ 804, 804A]

Delaware must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

State law further asks that state legislative districts be, insofar as possible, contiguous and bounded by roads, streams, and other natural boundaries. Districts may not be drawn to unduly favor any person or political party. The legislature may alter these statutory requirements as it wishes. [29 Del. Code § 804]

2010 cycle

Delaware’s legislature passed a state legislative plan (HB 210) on June 30, 2011, which was signed by the Governor on July 8, 2011.

On Jan. 26, 2012, the legislature adjusted the plan somewhat with HB 250, which was signed on Feb. 3, 2012.

It appears that the plan was not challenged in court.

2000 cycle

Delaware’s legislature enacted a state legislative plan (HB 467) on Apr. 18, 2002, which was signed by the Governor on Apr. 19, 2002.

The plan was amended in minor fashion by HB 556, passed on June 18, 2002 and signed by the Governor on June 19, 2002.

It appears that the plan was not challenged in court.