We could take human error out of the redistricting process entirely. Why don’t we?
This computer programmer (code word in the newspapers for geographers using GIS) has created a way to take the human element out of the redistricting process. Dividing places into separate, formal regions is an important task, one that often times requires an intimate knowledge of the place, it’s cultural, economic and physical characteristics. That’s how I would want things to been done in a perfect world, but partisan chicanery has led to so many gerrymandered districts that the human touch is what many of us fear more than a cold, impersonal division that does not take place, history, and community into account.
Questions to Ponder: Do you trust the politicians that are in charge of your state to create better districts than computer-generated districts that are optimized for compactness? What are some of the potential limitations of compact districts? Would an independent committee/bipartisan group do a better job? How does the Voting Rights Act complicate the redistricting process?