If a computer handled redistricting


Every 10 years, when census numbers get updated and shifts are required to ensure “equal representation,” complaints of gerrymandering and district tampering inevitably arise, as humans try to cope with a variety of variables that can lead to all sorts of accusations of favoritism or marginalism.

So what happens if a computer then becomes responsible for it? The Washington Post Wonkblog wrote about a project by Brian Olsen, who attempts to do just that. You definitely get clearer and cleaner district lines, but others things happen, as there’s no context over what are dubbed “communities of interest.” Of course, since a “community of interest” can be defined in a variety of ways, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing, but it does point out what can be lost when handing the task over to a computer.



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