Redistricting, Gerrymandering and the Binomial Distribution.

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By Lucius Riccio

With the completion of the 2020 U.S. Census, due to changes in population totals, many states have had to redraw their legislative voting districts. Most often, the party with the current majority gets to draw the new district lines, although some states have Independent Redistricting Commissions that are intended to turn the work over to a nonpartisan group of experts.

Of course, redistricting is about power. Traditionally, the party drawing the lines wants, first, to maintain the party’s majority in the legislature and, second, to maintain individual incumbency, not just for themselves but also, in some cases, for their friends in the other party.

Beyond those two concerns, the geographic design of districts, of course, has racial, ethnic and/or religious power implications. This article does not directly consider those individual or specific concerns here. Instead, it folds them collectively into party politics and voting.

Read the full INFORMS Magazine article.
Lucius Riccio is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern.