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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!

One route to reform goes through state courts, as Ben Williams reported in March. See our forthcoming article in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law [SSRN link] [PDF].

The fifty-state guide above 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!

→ 3 CommentsTags: Redistricting · Supreme Court

Michigan Redistricting Commission: First steps

June 29th, 2019, 2:49pm by Sam Wang


Michigan’s new redistricting commission is getting off the ground! Here’s an early step: a request for statistical assistance in selecting commissioners at random from the applicant pool. Statistical consultants, put in a bid – and help move reform forward!

To see the state government’s full RFP, follow this link, click on Guest Access, and do a key word search on “statistical.”

Comments Off on Michigan Redistricting Commission: First stepsTags: Redistricting

Seven Steps Of Boom And (usually) Bust: Harris and Williamson at Step 2…Biden at Step 6?

June 28th, 2019, 12:08am by Sam Wang


In such a crowded field, it’s inevitable that some candidate will get a boomlet. How long does a boomlet last, and how does it end?

We know what a cycle of boom-and-bust looks like from the contested 2012 and 2016 GOP primaries: [Read more →]

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John Roberts’s disproportionate error

June 27th, 2019, 1:05pm by Sam Wang


Today, the Supreme Court ran away from the question of partisan gerrymandering. Chief Justice Roberts’s majority decision cited the problem of “proportional representation” as an impediment to establishing a standard of fairness. His argument has a major logical problem which is easily fixed – though at this point, it will have to be done in state courts. Here’s how. [Read more →]

→ 10 CommentsTags: Redistricting · Supreme Court

Coming soon to a powwow near you…

June 10th, 2019, 12:04pm by Sam Wang


This summer, I’ll be on a panel at Netroots Nation to talk about state-level strategies to achieve fair districting. It will be in Philadelphia from July 11-13. Our panel’s on the first day.

The other panelists are great. They include a member of the California redistricting commission, widely considered to be a bipartisan success. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is similarly nonpartisan. We are open to a wide variety of audiences and allies, including Netroots Nation, a progressive gathering.

→ 1 CommentTags: Redistricting

Partisan primaries as gatekeepers

May 21st, 2019, 7:06am by Sam Wang


Partisan gerrymandering makes the primary the only election where there is real competition. In the New York Times, a former Senate candidate writes on how even this avenue can be manipulated to reduce competition by the political parties.

The author’s proposed solutions can conceivably help. A top-two primary system, as implemented in California, can increase competition. Elimination of partisan gerrymandering can reduce the number of safe seats somewhat, though his approach, a constitutional amendment, seems doomed to fail. Other approaches, such as state-by-state independent commissions, or H.R. 1, the For The People Act of 2019, have clearer routes to eventual passage.

Comments Off on Partisan primaries as gatekeepersTags: Redistricting

Mueller Report Book Club: Volume II, Obstruction of Justice, with Quinta Jurecic

May 17th, 2019, 11:39pm by Sam Wang


…and here’s our podcast on Volume II. Our guest is the incomparable Quinta Jurecic, of Lawfareblog.

Comments Off on Mueller Report Book Club: Volume II, Obstruction of Justice, with Quinta JurecicTags: 2016 Election · President · U.S. Institutions

Your weekend book club: The Mueller Report

May 10th, 2019, 9:26am by Sam Wang


Been meaning to pick up that Mueller Report, but gotten a little scare of its heft? Wondering what all the fuss is about? Concerned for your democracy? We have the answer for you!

In the latest episode of Politics And Polls, Julian Zelizer launch our book club on the Mueller Report. This week we do Volume I, Russian Interference. Joining us is Marcy Wheeler, who writes about national security issues at Emptywheel.net. Marcy has an enormous amount of in-depth knowledge. We had a focused discussion, complete with page and section numbers.

Get a hard copy of the Report (or use this searchable PDF), brew some tea or coffee, and join us!

In upcoming weeks we’ll do Volume II (guest Quinta Jurecic of Lawfareblog) and constitutional issues (Marty Lederman of Georgetown Law School).

Comments Off on Your weekend book club: The Mueller ReportTags: 2016 Election · President · Princeton · U.S. Institutions

Gerrymandering is in the news…in Bustle!

April 15th, 2019, 1:36pm by Sam Wang


Truly it is now cool to care about gerrymandering. Check out this great article in Bustle. It features Princeton Gerrymandering Project’s own Hannah Wheelen and Ben Williams. Also Katie Fahey, Justin Levitt – they went deep and talked to the right people!

To quote Ben: “Gerrymandering isn’t the issue you have to care about most, but it is the issue you have to care about first.”

→ 7 CommentsTags: 2020 Election · Redistricting

Data Science at Princeton – two jobs available immediately

April 2nd, 2019, 10:57pm by Sam Wang


So, I’ve got two jobs here. Both involve GIS. One’s for redistricting and anti-gerrymandering. The other is for…neuroscience!

  1. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is recruiting a Data Scientist. Analytics to support OpenPrecincts.org, our data hub to help with citizen redistricting in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. You need both data skills and people skills. Both are needed to coordinate the work of volunteers and peer organizations around the country. The preliminary announcement is here.
  2. The Princeton Neuroscience Institute is recruiting a Brain Atlas Software Product Developer. As part of our BRAIN COGS project to understand memory and decision-making, we’re developing a general curation system to map brain circuits to a universal reference frame. The preliminary announcement is here.

Both of these positions are based at Princeton University. Come join us!

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