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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 488
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: SPAIG Committee
Abstract - #303895
Title: Decisionmaking About Redistricting
Author(s): Thomas R. Belin*+
Companies: University of California at Los Angeles
Address: 51-267 Center for Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1772,

Multiple considerations enter into decisions about redistricting, and conflicting criteria can lead to confusion about which criteria to prioritize. Belin, Fischer, and Zigler (2011 Statistics, Politics, and Policy) introduce the idea of a density-variation/compactness (DVC) measure to serve as a one-number summary of a proposed redistricting plan, favoring plans that can be expected to include more districts where close elections would be expected. The talk will review evidence from a variety of redistricting plans suggesting that DVC measures could provide a check on attempts to introduce partisan bias into the redistricting process. We will also discuss the interplay between statistical criteria and legal imperatives in the context of recent redistricting experience in California, specifically considering whether language in California's redistricting laws calling for voters to have a "real choice" and for voters to be "back in charge" indicates a preference for plans with more competitive districts or whether it would be more proper to proceed without attaching any weight to considerations of electoral competitiveness.

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