Redistricting, Congressional Districts
Michael H. Crespin
Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for representation to the House of Representatives to be apportioned among the states according to the respective number of individuals residing in each state. The initial apportionment, or assigning of seats to individual states, gave 10 districts to Virginia, 8 to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, 6 to Maryland and New York, 5 to Connecticut, North Carolina, and South Carolina, 4 to New Jersey, 3 to New Hampshire and Georgia, and 1 each to Rhode Island and Delaware. For subsequent Congresses after 1790 and then repeated every 10 years, the enumeration has relied on a census of the population. The census is an actual count, rather than a sample, of every person—citizen and noncitizen alike—residing in each of the states. As such, the danger exists of some groups of people undercounted or others overcounted. The Constitution as originally written called for one district ...