2017-02-06

Partisan Gerrymandering Supercomputing Statistical Analysis

Gerrymandering analysis at UIUC [1] uses a supercomputer cluster to generate millions of plausible districts and measures their goodness and partisan balance. Given this space of plausible district mappings, one can look at the current map and see if it is an outlier. They show one state, Maryland, and how its current map is at outlier on a couple metrics, and therefore probably an intentional partisan gerrymander. The motivation for this approach seems to be to create a tool for court challenges to gerrymandered maps. If a map is an outlier, highly unlikely by random chance, then it's probably due to malicious intent.

I wish them luck and I hope they overturn some gerrymanders. I'll probably stick to my work of making one good map to compare to. If I can make one good map that's legally and practically viable, and measure its goodness and compare to other maps, then we should just let the best map win.


[1] Election Law Journal, ELECTION LAW JOURNAL Volume 15, Number 4, 2016, DOI: 10.1089/elj.2016.0384  http://cho.pol.illinois.edu/wendy/papers/talismanic.pdf

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