Virginia draft maps released

Bernie Grofman and Sean Trende released their draft maps for the Virginia Supreme Court’s review. Of particular interest, they explicitly considered partisan fairness in their analysis of their maps, concluding that they were quite balanced.

The Statutory Criteria also require that “[a] map of districts shall not, when considered on a statewide basis, unduly favor or disfavor any political party.” First, by adhering to the statutory criteria described above, we minimize the risk of any undue favoritism toward either party. It would be difficult to draw gerrymanders under these constraints had we wanted to.

Second, once the maps were drawn, we examined the political data in their totality, with particular attention to the median district. Our rough goal was to see if the median district in a Congressional map approximated Joe Biden’s and Donald Trump’s statewide vote shares for
2020, and if it approximated the Democrats’ statewide results for 2017 for state legislative districts. This is called the “mean-median” standard in discussions of gerrymandering. It was our agreed-upon understanding, however, that since the standard asked that maps not “unduly” favor one party or the other, we would leave the maps in place unless the results were both (a) truly egregious and (b) able to be remedied while adhering to the other criteria above.

Share this: