Tuesday, March 03, 2015

How Florida would look with fair districts

Is it that hard to create an algorithm to draw legislative districts after each census? Why do self-interested politicians need to be involved at all?

The answer to both questions is NO.

These programs and algorithms already exist. Brian Olson is a software engineer in Massachusetts who wrote a program to draw "optimally compact" equal-population congressional districts in each state, based on 2010 census data. Olson's algorithm draws districts that respect the boundaries of census blocks, which are the smallest geographic units used by the Census Bureau.

And as you can see, the states look A LOT better. Just look at Florida!


  1. During the '80's when the Democrats were the prevailing party, I happened to be in the room (I worked for the Florida Legislature) where the redistricting lines were being drawn according to the 1980 census. I remember overhearing one member (no idea who) saying 'we need to be fair to our Republican counterparts in this and it it must be able to survive overseeing by the courts.' I'm paraphrasing, of course, that was many years ago. The divisiveness that we see today was not in the room.

    1. unfortunately, that fair-mindedness was not reciprocated and now the GOP has a vetoproof majority DESPITE there being more Dems in this state than GOP