Sunday, June 30, 2019

Material on Redistricting: Quotes, Links, Articles, Movies, Youtube

In the wake of the Supreme Court's disastrous punt on redistricting, some references are in order. Definitely to be augmented over time -RMF 06/30/2019


"The smart set that denies this also doesn't understand how profoundly the technology changed between 2000 and 2010, let alone between 1990 and 2010. In 1990 and even in 2000, the computers and the data sets were primitive. In some cases, they were still laying out actual parchment maps and using markers. By 2010, programs like Maptitude--and all of the public data sets that are available, as well as private data sets that the parties can purchase and add on to Maptitude--made it as easy as clicking a mouse to shift a line one block in any direction. And the data was so good, and our partisanship had hardened in such a way as to make it pretty clear how individual blocks vote" quote from David Daley (author of "RatF**cked...")
"When a computer can spit out 100 different relatively fair and compact options, a map full of conspicuously partisan districts becomes harder to rationalize." from "Gerrymandering is Out of Control" by Eric Boehm in "Reason" :
"Here is where the end result of the most intricate, expensive, and contentious redistricting process in history meets the maturation of an analytical field created to rein it in, all under the aegis of a Constitution that did not foresee microtargeting and GIS."  "How Redistricting Became a Technological Arms Race" by VANN R. NEWKIRK: from
"Appellees contend that if we can adjudicate one-person, one-vote claims, we can also assess partisan gerrymandering claims. But the one-person, one-vote rule is relativelyeasy to administer as a matter of math. The same cannot be said of partisan gerrymandering claims, because the Constitution supplies no objective measure for assessing whether a districting map treats a political party fairly." RUCHO v. COMMON CAUSE Opinion of the US Supreme Court from
"Legislative redistricting is a critical element of representative democracy. A number of political scientists have used simulation methods to sample redistricting plans under various constraints in order to assess their impact on partisanship and other aspects of representation. However, while many optimization algorithms have been proposed, surprisingly few simulation methods exist in the literature. Furthermore, the standard algorithm has no theoretical justification, scales poorly, and is unable to incorporate fundamental substantive constraints required by redistricting processes in the real world. To fill this gap, we formulate redistricting as a graph-cut problem and for the first time in the literature propose a new automated redistricting simulator based on Markov chain Monte Carlo." from "A New Automated Redistricting Simulator Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo". Benjamin Fifield, Michael Higgins, Kosuke Imai, Alexander Tarr
"Whereas, fair impartial districts are a boon to the good functioning of democracy; and whereas, redistricting has been abused around the nation to distort the democratic process and entrench the power of political parties; and whereas, we believe that a simple mathematical formula for what a good district is shall be the most reliable generator of fair impartial districts for the foreseeable future,We do hereby submit for ratification this amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America" ... from
"This is a special tabulation providing data on citizen voting age population by race and ethnicity.  The data is sourced from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates.  The American Community Survey is an ongoing survey that provides data every year, giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. The ACS is the replacement for the decennial census long form." from


Youtube Videos:

Sites and Articles:

Open Source Software:

Commercial Software:

Academic Articles (To be augmented later):

Census Links to CVAP data:

CVAP Discussion:

WA State Redistricting Links:

OFM WA Redistricting Links:

Ballotpedia Articles on Major Redistricting Decisions:

News Releases

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