The intersection of redistricting, race, and participation

Danny Hayes, Seth C. McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The drawing of congressional district lines can significantly reduce political participation in U.S. House elections, according to recent work. But such studies have failed to explain which citizens' voting rates are most susceptible to the dislocating effects of redistricting and whether the findings are generalizable to a variety of political contexts. Building on this nascent literature and work on black political participation, we show that redistricting's negative effects on participation-measured by voter roll-off in U.S. House elections-are generally strongest among African Americans, but that black voters can be mobilized when they are redrawn into a black representative's congressional district. Our findings, based on data from 11 postredistricting elections in five states from 1992 through 2006, both expand the empirical scope of previous work and suggest that redistricting plays a previously hidden role in affecting black participation in congressional contests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-130
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


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