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Redistricting

A Florida legislator wants the state to count convicts as residents at their home addresses, not their prisons.

Florida joins debate over where to count prisoners when drawing district lines

Florida would become the seventh state to end so-called prison gerrymandering under legislation one state senator has promised to push hard next year.

The bill by Democrat Randolph Bracy, who represents the Orlando suburbs, would require the mapmakers who draw General Assembly districts to count prisoners as residents at their home addresses, instead of in the mostly rural areas where most of the state's penitentiaries are located. That current approach, Bracy argues, inflates the population of those rural areas at the expense of the big cities where most of the incarcerated come from.

The change would likely mean extra seats for the Orlando, Tampa and Miami metropolitan areas.

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North Carolina General Assembly

This map, drawn by the state Senate for itself, is expected to win approval from the judges who demanded it.

N.C. legislators on course for on-time undoing of their partisan gerrymander

North Carolina's new state legislative district lines are on pace to be finished by Wednesday's court-imposed deadline after versions of the maps passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

The Senate's bipartisan, 38-9 vote happened Monday night. The House and Senate are now reviewing each other's maps, potentially making additional tweaks to some boundaries before they are forwarded for final approval to the three state judges in Raleigh who ordered the redistricting this month.

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Census bureau sued to stop gathering of citizen population data

A federal lawsuit brought last week by Latino and immigrants' rights groups is seeking to stop the Trump administration from publicizing estimates of the citizen population along with the 2020 census results.

Effectively blocked by the Supreme Court from putting a citizenship question on the census, President Trump has ordered the Commerce Department to come up with numbers using existing government records – in time for delivery to the states along with the detailed population figures.

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Image courtesy: Alexander J. Stewart and Joshua B. Plotkin

Information gerrymandering occurs when there is asymmetry in how bubbles collide. In the example shown at the bottom, the blue party has split its influence, so that some members are open to persuasion from the red party.

Here’s what happens when political bubbles collide

Stewart is an assistant professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Houston. Plotkin is a professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Social media has transformed how people talk to each other. But social media platforms are not shaping up to be the utopian spaces for human connection their founders hoped.

Instead, the internet has introduced phenomena that can influence national elections and maybe even threaten democracy.

Echo chambers or "bubbles" – in which people interact mainly with others who share their political views – arise from the way communities organize themselves online.

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