Federal law requires that districts have about the same number of people in them, and adhere to the Voting Rights Act by not diluting the vote of protected classes.
State law (FAIRMAPS Act (AB 849) and AB 1276) requires that districts be drawn using the following criteria in the given order of priority:
- Districts should be contiguous (each district should be one piece)
- Districts should respect the integrity of local neighborhoods or communities of interest in a manner that minimizes their division
- District boundaries should be easily identifiable by following natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.)
- Districts should be compact
In addition, districts should not be drawn to favor or discriminate against a political party.