Support electoral innovation at Princeton!

August 1, 2018 by Sam Wang

Here at Princeton, we are building activities to foster electoral innovation. Our mission is to find ways to make U.S. democracy more responsive to citizens through application of data, math, and law. We work in several domains.

During election years, one of our major projects is the Princeton Election Consortium. We calculate where individual votes are most valuable for affecting the Presidency (4 years), the Senate (6 years), and redistricting (10 years). Our Redistricting Moneyball project has the potential to bring about bipartisan redistricting over nearly 100 House seats, over one-fifth of the entire chamber.

In 2021, about half our effort goes to the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which does nonpartisan analysis to understand and eliminate partisan gerrymandering at a state-by-state level. The strongest route to reform is at a state-by-state level—a federalist approach. Our interdisciplinary team aims to give activists and legislators the tools they need to detect offenses and craft bulletproof, bipartisan reform. Tools such as and break down barriers between citizens and those in charge of redistricting. Our analysis is published widely, and our work is used by legislators and reformers of all communities, without regard to partisan affiliation.

In 2021 and beyond, we are crafting an approximately five-year project, the Electoral Innovation Lab. We seek to use scientific research, data, and law to repair and improve democracy in many ways: voting systems, reduction of polarization, and state- and local-level reform. We will convert our work into information and resources for reform organizations, legal advocates, and technical partners nationwide.

We’ll soon publish a comprehensive overview of our ambitions fo the Electoral Innovation Lab. Just to give a few specific examples, some current activities include:

  • A report card for fair districting, in which we apply quantitative principles of fairness to let reformers evaluate draft maps in real time, before district maps become final.
  • Voting systems. Recently, our amicus brief helped protect ranked-choice voting in Maine.
  • A conceptual framework for understanding and predicting the systemic consequences of proposed reforms.
  • The role of communities of interest in defining where legislative district boundaries should be drawn
  • State-level barriers to reform such as courts. As a recent example, we are engaged in understanding the role of courts in supporting fair districting in Wisconsin.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project and the Electoral Innovation Lab rely entirely on the financial support of private donors and foundations in order to continue our efforts through 2021. Contributions to our work are tax deductible.

Ways to give:

Checks should be made payable to “Trustees of Princeton University” and mailed to Sam Wang, Electoral Innovation Lab, Neuroscience Institute, Washington Road, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.

A cover letter should be attached indicating that the gift is “for the exclusive use of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and the Electoral Innovation Lab.” Please include your email address for a confirmation!

Credit Card gifts can be made using Princeton University’s Make a Gift Online(link is external) portal. Please be sure to include in the “comments” section of the online form that the gift is “For the exclusive use of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project / Electoral Innovation – (PN0019) Account 24400-B0996-FA508”.

Wire Transfers (domestic or international) should be payable in U.S. dollars. Please notify us by email at in advance of your intent to wire funds so that we may provide you with the bank receiving instructions.

For more information on how to structure gifts or bequests to the Electoral Innovation Lab, please contact Prof. Sam Wang at (609) 258-0388 or by email at

Thank you for your support!