They're just lines drawn on a map but the political boundaries that are scheduled to be announced Feb 21 by a Minnesota judicial panel will have a big impact on politics in 2012.
Most candidates can't wait for final lines to be drawn to begin their campaigns so they've been on the campaign trail hoping their homes will wind up in their preferred district.
Central Lakes College instructor Steve Wenzel, who served 29 years in the Legislature and later worked in President George W. Bush's Agriculture Department, knows the importance of redistricting decisions.
Hours before the new maps were set to be released he told an associate at the college that redistricting decisions, which come every 10 years, can make or break political careers.
One potential candidate for House District 12A, Kurt Martin of rural Brainerd, told Republicans there he would consider running against Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, if his home ends up in District 12A. It all depends on where they draw the lines.
Once the maps are released politicians will study them intensely to see who they should start wooing and citizens will learn who they will have the opportunity to vote for or against this fall.