Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Eradicating Partisan Bias with District Shapes Based on Previous Voting Behavior

55 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018  

Valentin Vandendaele

Leiden University - Europa Institute

Date Written: January 4, 2018

Abstract

The problem of partisan bias is that electoral districts can be drawn in such a way as to allow one party to win a simple or larger majority of the districts with fewer votes than another party would need to win the same majority. A party could even win a majority of districts without the support of a majority or even a plurality of the voters. In this article, I identify the gerrymander effect and the size effect as the causes for this partisan bias. Building on insights from the political sciences, I suggest alternative redistricting rules that can overcome both these effects. I also explore the consequences of these alternative rules for the traditional redistricting rules. Finally, I briefly consider the reasons both the judicial and political institutions may or may not accept them.

Keywords: redistricting, partisan bias, gerrymandering, malapportionment

Suggested Citation

Vandendaele, Valentin, Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Eradicating Partisan Bias with District Shapes Based on Previous Voting Behavior (January 4, 2018). 18 Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal (2018, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3095998

Valentin Vandendaele (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Europa Institute ( email )

Steenschuur 25
Leiden, 2311ES
Netherlands

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