Assignments & Exams

Redistricting Exercise

You have been assigned into groups of three to draw a congressional district map of a state that strives to achieve an assigned goal. In all cases, your districts should obey the equal population constraint, with no district deviating more or less than 1% from perfect equality. The districts must also be contiguous. Otherwise, do what you need to do to reach your goal.

You will use Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA) to draw the districts. (Note: The app will not run in Chrome, but should work in Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You will need to download the Silverlight plugin for the app to work.)

You will be assigned a state and a scenario for that state. The task is to draw as many congressional districts as that state was assigned after the 2010 district that satisfies the scenario. When you are finished, save the files and email them by 5pm on day 13. The three files are a “DRF” file (which saves the boundaries), the congressional district data as a CSV file, and a picture of the redistricting plan as a JPG.

(Name the files using the following convention: stateabbrv_scenario.ext)

Possible Scenarios

  • North Carolina compact
  • North Carolina gerrymander
  • Massachusetts compact
  • Massachusetts gerrymander

Scenario Definitions

  • Compact: The districts should be compact and adhere as much as possible to country (North Carolina) or municipal (Massachusetts) boundaries. Unfortunately, the redistricting app doesn’t have a way to calculate compactness measures, so you’ll need to do this by eye.
  • Gerrymander: Draw the districts to elect as many Republicans as possible in Massachusetts and as many Democrats as possible in North Carolina.

Course Info

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