“Q&A: Measuring Partisan Fairness in Maps”

I did this Q&A for Democracy Docket on redistricting, measures of partisan fairness, computer algorithms, and more. Here’s the last question and answer from our exchange:

Now that the Supreme Court has held partisan gerrymandering claims to be non-justiciable, what are other applications/uses for metrics measuring partisan effects?

The metrics can play the same role in state constitutional litigation that they previously played in the federal courts — as one kind of evidence of partisan gerrymandering. The metrics can also be used by commissions and other line-drawers who are trying to achieve partisan fairness, not unfairness. And the metrics can help mobilize journalistic coverage, popular outrage and efforts to reform. That’s one of the goals of sites like PlanScore — to make it blindingly obvious to everyone when maps are biased and thus corrosive of basic democratic values.

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