Supersister Dickerson
Voter Intimidator

GIS the Vote

Nancy Udell has a thorough piece in the Santa Fe New Mexican about gerrymandering  and the use of geographic information system software: Maptitude_1

  ...  Gerrymandering is as old as, well, party politics. The party in control of a state's legislature after the census tries to draw the lines for the congressional districts so that their party gets more seats in the state's delegation. The term was coined when Massachusettes Gov. Elbridge Gerry approved a voting district shaped like a salamander in 1811. ...

Even though gerrymandering in not new, many believe it has more impact now because computer programs are making it into an exact science. In a 2003 article for The New Yorker, just after the uproar over DeLay's new lines, Jeffrey Toobin described the power of the redistricting software, Maptitude for Redistricting (see www.caliper.com/mtredist.htm).

... The only limit on the kind of information it can use is "availability." The software can digest vast amounts of data, including voting patterns, census data, property-tax records, water-block data and of course, party registration. It uses the data to predict how people will vote and to tell line drawers which district to put them in. ...

Some planners just love this stuff because it's all about how you draw the lines.    

Comments

suz

and some of the districting here shows many generations of careful massaging. the question might now be, how can all this be corrected, if it can be?

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