On Redistricting

Given all the brouhaha that exists over redistricting, I thought I would give one simple idea that would free our nation and states from tyranny. 😉  Turn the job over to a computer.  Yes, take the blood and politics out of it, and let computers make fair districts.

How do we do that?  Simple.  You need a computerized map of the political entity being divided, and the locations of the voters.  You give the computer a simple instruction: minimize the length of the internal boundary lines within the political entity, subject to the districts being roughly the same population.

No one can argue that such a method is not fair.  It produces compact, convex districts that look  fair, and no one needs to say a word — just accept the output of the computer.

What would be the benefit?  Districts would be a lot less polar, and seats would not be as safe for incumbents.  And when the new census comes out — boom! Many politicians would find themselves fighting for their lives in new districts that don’t fit them.

This could herald the return of the citizen-lawmaker, because it would be difficult to maintain a seat for a long time.  Perhaps with some help, such as permanently disallowing politicians from being lobbyists, it could make a genuine change in the way our government works.

PS — In my life, I have been approached by others to use my math skills to gerrymander a large state in the US.  I refused (at age 29), though I knew how it could be done.