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A Fifty-State Guide To Redistricting Reform

July 13th, 2019, 6:00pm by Sam Wang


As I wrote in today’s New York Times, despite the failure of the Supreme Court to act, there’s a way forward to stop gerrymandering. Here at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, we’ve assessed the best route to reform in your state. Check it out!

This reflects a team effort by (alphabetical) Hope Johnson, James Turk, me, and Ben Williams. Email us at gerrymander@princeton.edu with your local reports and any corrections!

Tags: Redistricting · Supreme Court

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Pechmerle

    For my state, the link to “California Citizens Commission” does not work. The true name is the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, and its website is here: https://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/

  • Tom Dourmashkin

    I agree with your approach to solve the problem at the state level. The first amendment theoretically should apply but all other constitutional grants of voting rights are by amendment.

    There is a simple standard at the state level. State constitutional amendments that simply state that all votes count equally. If the final outcomes do not match the votes cast (within a reasonable margin to be determined), the independent electoral commission must revise the districts and a revote taken.

    • Sam Wang

      Unlikely to ever be approved by any legislature. Nor should they.

      Single-district systems do not naturally generate linearly proportional representation (it’s more of an S-shaped curve, a long-known fact). To achieve linearity, district boundaries would have to assume some strange shapes that do not reflect local priorities. At that point one would just as well adopt proportional representation…which itself would provoke massive resistance in the face of the idea of districts. People like to have their own Congresscritter or legislaturecritter.

      A solution to this issue has been devised in Germany: add at-large legislators to enforce linear proportionality.

      I should say that the degree of inertia in U.S. politics is such that neither of these solutions will happen, unless we overhaul the entire constitution. So I think it’s a fantasy. If not…it will be crisis time and we’ll be stockpiling food!

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