Friday, July 01, 2005

On redistricting in California

Dan Waters makes an interesting point on the Schwarzenegger redistricting plan: the rhetoric is to take out the precinct-level gerrymandering by looking at turnout, allowing politicians to choose their voters rather than the other way around. But instead of looking at turnout and performance numbers -- how many Republican and Democrat votes each precinct produced -- the Schwarzenegger plan looks at voter registration numbers and tries to balance there. I don't see any reason why this is particularly more democratic than looking at turnout -- there doesn't really seem to be any reason to look at either factor. So what was Schwarzenegger thinking?

Fun fact: Republicans turn out in higher numbers than Democrats. So if you create districts that are 50% Democrat and 50% Republican, the Republicans win all of them.



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