North Dakota has only one congressional district. State lines are drawn by the legislature, as normal legislation. One 2020 ballot initiative attempting to change that redistricting process foundered when COVID-19 restricted the ability to gather signatures; another was rejected on technical grounds by the state courts.
In the 2020 cycle, North Dakota’s legislature enacted state legislative districts (HB 1504) on Nov. 11, 2021. The plans have been challenged in court, with claims under the Voting Rights Act and claims that the lines impermissibly rely predominantly on race; litigation is ongoing.
In the 2010 cycle, North Dakota’s legislature enacted state legislative districts (HB 1473) on Nov. 9, 2011.
Key Info for 2000 Cycle
Primary governing law
Key Info for 2010 Cycle
Primary governing law
North Dakota has only one congressional district.
North Dakota state legislative lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.
The legislature’s constitutional deadline for producing plans is the end of the first regular session after the census; that session began on Jan. 5, 2021, and is currently scheduled to end on Apr. 28, 2021. [N.D. Const. art. IV, § 2] The legislature called a special session with a Nov. 30, 2021 deadline for new redistricting plans. [H.B. 1397] In the 2011 session, the legislature also passed plans in a special legislative session, after the original statutory deadline. Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by Apr. 11, 2022. [N.D. Code §§ 16.1-11-01, -06]
North Dakota does not appear to prohibit redrawing these lines at any point mid-decade, before the next Census. [N.D. Const. art. IV, § 2]
The legislature has not yet announced any specific plans or guidelines for public input.
Like all states, North Dakota must comply with constitutional equal population requirements; by statute, the legislature has also required that state legislative districts be populated as nearly equally “as is practicable,” with deviations “kept at a minimum.” These latter statutory requirements may be altered by the legislature. [N.D. Const. art. IV, § 2; N.D. Code § 54-03-01.5(5)]
North Dakota must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.
The North Dakota constitution further requires that districts be contiguous and compact. State legislative districts are, by definition, nested; one Senator and two Representatives are elected from each district. [N.D. Const. art. IV, § 2; N.D. Code § 54-03-01.5(5)]
North Dakota’s legislature enacted state legislative districts (HB 1504) on Nov. 11, 2021.
Before Census data were delivered, advocates attempted to change the redistricting process through a ballot initiative. Proponents first unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the requirement to gather signatures in-person in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; a few months later, the state supreme court struck a measure from the ballot due to improper incorporation of another statute’s text. [Sinner v. Jaeger, 467 F.Supp.3d 774 (D.N.D. 2020); Haugen v. Jaeger, 948 N.W.2d 1 (N.D. 2020)]
Once the districts were drawn, they were challenged in federal court. One case alleges that the maps dilute the voting strength of Native American voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act; another claims that race predominated without sufficient justification. The litigation is ongoing.
North Dakota’s legislature enacted state legislative districts (HB 1473) on Nov. 9, 2011.
It appears that the plan was not challenged in court.
North Dakota’s legislature enacted state legislative districts (SB 2456) on Nov. 30, 2001.
It appears that the plan was not challenged in court, though the ability of the legislature to truncate a sitting state Senator’s term due to redistricting was challenged in state court; the challenge was denied. [Kelsh v. Jaeger, 641 N.W.2d 100 (N.D. 2002)]