from the kill-'em-all dept.
Gerrymandering has a long and unpopular history in the United States. It is the main reason that the country ranked 55th of 158 nations — last among Western democracies — in a 2017 index of voting fairness run by the Electoral Integrity Project
[...] Lawsuits fighting partisan gerrymandering are pending around the country, and a census planned for 2020 is expected to trigger nationwide redistricting. If the mathematicians succeed in laying out their case, it could influence how those maps are drawn.
[...] States such as Arizona and Iowa, which have independent or bipartisan commissions that oversee the creation of voting districts, fared much better. In a separate analysis, Daniel McGlone, a geographic-information-system data analyst at the technology firm Azavea in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ranked each state’s voting districts for compactness as a measure of gerrymandering, and found that Maryland had the most-gerrymandered districts. North Carolina came second. Nevada, Nebraska and Indiana were the least gerrymandered.
[...] In the summer of 2016, a bipartisan panel of retired judges met to see whether they could create a more representative set of voting districts for North Carolina. Their maps gave Mattingly a chance to test his index. The judges’ districts, he found, were less gerrymandered than in 75% of the computer-generated models — a sign of a well-drawn, representative map. By comparison, every one of the 24,000 computer-drawn districts was less gerrymandered than either the 2012 or 2016 voting districts drawn by state legislators
[...] Political scientist Nicholas Stephanopoulos at the University of Chicago, Illinois, takes a much simpler approach to measuring gerrymandering. He has developed what he calls an “efficiency gap”, which measures a state’s wasted votes: all those cast for a losing candidate in each district, and all those for the victor in excess of the proportion needed to win. If one party has lots of landslide victories and crushing losses compared with its rivals, this can be a sign of gerrymandering.
Note: Please try to keep the discussion on the topic of gerrymandering.