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Apply to become a voting rights expert

Join the SPLC’s Race & Redistricting Expert Project (RREP) ahead of 2030 redistricting

The Southern Poverty Law Center has established a nonpartisan voting rights expert witness training institute, named RREP – Race & Redistricting Expert Project, to increase the number of voting rights experts willing to use their expertise in voting rights litigation.



RREP began with a goal of building a robust pipeline of voting experts for mapping, statistics and research needed to meet evidentiary requirements in Section 2 Voting Rights Act litigation, that involves electoral practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a specified language minority group.

The SPLC launched the project in 2024, to train two types of experts:

  • Those able to draw and analyze electoral district boundaries.
  • Those able to perform statistical analysis to determine patterns of racially polarized voting and partisan symmetry.

Both expert fields will involve voting rights law along with both quantitative and qualitative methods involved in Section 2 litigation. 

As voting rights litigation constantly evolves, potential experts will be trained in various other methods necessary to infer on the fairness of election districts and their ability to provide minority groups an equal opportunity to elect candidates of choice.

The training will involve two years with the SPLC’s Democracy-Voting Rights Group (DVR) and working with other SPLC staff, civil rights organizations, partners and current experts until participants are competent experts in voting rights (VR) litigation. The commitment involves one in-person meeting and two assignments given in six-month increments. Then, potential experts will continue under an apprenticeship model where participants will then work virtually with civil rights organizations or current VR experts for a six-month period to see the skills and methods used firsthand, as on-the-job training.

RREP will provide participants with the skills needed to draw fair election districts and counter racial gerrymandering schemes that harm communities of color. Participants will be able to serve as experts in voting rights cases before U.S. courts, providing testimony in depositions and trials, and submitting reports on their findings and conclusions. RREP participants will also be encouraged to contribute to voting rights research and publications and participate in community-based mapping with local groups as we engage in current voting rights cases and prepare for the 2030 redistricting. RREP is designed to be a detailed learning experience where participants can engage in training at their pace.

In addition to receiving a stipend for in-person training, virtual assignment work and apprenticeship to support their participation in our program, participants would also:

  • Meet former and current experts from across the country working in various racial and ethnic communities.
  • Participate in SPLC-sponsored VR research opportunities and self-initiated research.
  • Obtain knowledge of current VR cases, policies and initiatives.
  • Learn techniques and measures from anywhere in the nation, with an amenable work-life balance and no need to disrupt current work and family environment.

Each trainee receives $1,500 for the yearly in-person meeting and an added $1,500 per virtual and apprenticeship assignment.

Application deadline is Friday, April 12, 2024.

Notice of acceptance will be sent by Monday, May 13, 2024.

In-person workshop will be held July 8-July 11, 2024, in Montgomery, Alabama.

Should you have any questions, please contact

Photo at top: (Credit: Jeff Amy/AP Photo)