Toward a Talismanic Redistricting Tool: A Computational Method for Identifying Extreme Redistricting Plans

Wendy K. Tam Cho, Yan Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Partisan gerrymandering is widely frowned upon by the citizenry as well as the Supreme Court. Despite broad disdain for the practice, the Supreme Court has found it difficult to identify a workable standard by which we might regulate political gerrymandering. We have lacked sufficient tools to analyze and synthesize redistricting data, in part, because the requisite computation is massive. At the same time, the recent proliferation of significant computing power has led to the discovery of the extensive and often surprising reach of technology, information, and computation in many realms of life. Our capacities to compile, organize, analyze, and disseminate information have increased dramatically and facilitated the creation of many tools to connect citizens and automate human tasks. We present a computational model that brings these significantly advanced computing capacities to the redistricting process. Our model allows us to understand redistricting in fundamentally new ways and allows us to integrate technological advances with our articulated theories for redistricting and democratic rule while also empowering citizens with new abilities to understand and overturn partisan gerrymanders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-366
Number of pages16
JournalElection Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • partisan gerrymandering
  • redistricting
  • supercomputing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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