An advocacy project at Princeton University has released a new guide for those who want to combat excessive partisanship in the drawing of legislative districts, hoping it will be a roadmap to help citizens push for fairer maps in all 50 states.
The guide was created by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and released on the heels of last month's Supreme Court ruling that federal courts will not be in the business of assessing partisan gerrymandering claims.
The Princeton project's state information page offers a color-coded map that divides states by "key redistricting features." Eighteen are shaded dark or light green, for example, signaling a third-party commission or demographer already guides the drawing of voting districts.
Clicking any state reveals sections that explain how redistricting happens, the latest news and events there, actions that people can take to push for reform, as well as information about local advocacy groups and redistricting, in general.
Take New Hampshire, for example. On the state page, a visitor learns that the legislature has passed a redistricting-commission bill and is advised to contact the governor to encourage him to sign it.
Sam Wang, the Princeton neuroscience professor who founded the project, coauthored an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that partisan gerrymanders can be measured using a variety of tools, an argument that the court's conservative majority rejected last month
"Now that the Supreme Court has run away from partisan gerrymandering, it's time to fight on a state-by-state basis," he wrote in a blog post announcing his state-level database.
- Bipartisan forces build to reverse Missouri's gerrymandering reform ... ›
- High court to voters: You deal with partisan gerrymandering. - The ... ›
- Anti-gerrymandering fights make a stop at the courthouse - The Fulcrum ›
- Report: Gerrymandering shifted House seats in favor of GOP - The Fulcrum ›
- Gerrymandering blocks our most important civil right - The Fulcrum ›
- Find the voter guide that's right for you - The Fulcrum ›
- David Jolly: Why I'm leading a new political party - The Fulcrum ›
An approach to the drawing of electoral maps in which the party in power concentrates as many voters from the opposing party into as few districts as possible, thereby maximizing the governing party's ability to win all the other districts. It's the opposite gerrymandering strategy from cracking.
An approach to the drawing of electoral maps in which the governing party splits pockets of voters from the political opposition into multiple districts, thereby diluting their ability to elect candidates from their party. It's the opposite gerrymandering strategy from packing.