What is redistricting?

The Iowa Senate voted earlier this year on congressional and legislative redistricting maps. (Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register/AP)

This article is part of a series of explainers we are publishing ahead of the midterm elections. Share it with a friend or let us know what questions you have about politics, voting or elections here.

Redistricting is underway around the country, and it will continue to receive intense scrutiny ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

If you follow political news, you’ve likely seen stories about it — particularly concerns about gerrymandering. The process of redistricting is complex but critical, helping to decide who holds power in American politics before anyone casts a ballot.

The Washington Post is creating tools and pages (such as this one) aimed at making it easier to understand.

Here are answers to some basic questions about redistricting and how it affects you.

What are the midterms?