In most states, district maps — which define where the constituency of one representative ends and that of another begins — are drawn by the state’s lawmakers. Having politicians define their own districts has not gone entirely smoothly — and two cases involving political gerrymandering, or the drawing of districts (especially oddly shaped districts) to favor one party over another, are now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
But if gerrymandering is a bad way to draw districts, what happens when you try other ways? At FiveThirtyEight, we’ve been exploring this and other questions in “The Gerrymandering Project.”
As part of this project, we set out to determine what districts for the U.S. House of Representatives could look like if they were drawn with different goals in mind. We did the drawing ourselves … 258 state congressional maps, or 2,568 districts, sketched out over the course of months, with the indispensable help of one developer’s free online redistricting tool….
And see Dave Wasserman’s Hating Gerrymandering Is Easy. Fixing It Is Harder.