Independent Redistricting Commissions Increase Voter Perceptions of Fairness
41 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021 Last revised: 18 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 1, 2021
Do independent redistricting commissions cause voters to view the redistricting process as fair? Scholars have focused on the role that redistricting plays in political outcomes, but the process built into institutions also signals important values such as fairness. We argue that independent redistricting commissions improve voter attitudes toward fairness in the redistricting process. In two survey experiments, we find that voters are more likely to rate the redistricting process as fair and to state that partisan gerrymandering is not a problem when they learn about their state’s redistricting commission. In contrast, voters in a control group and in a randomized treatment group who learn that state legislators conduct redistricting are less likely to view the redistricting process as fair.
Keywords: redistricting, political institutions, independent redistricting commission, legislatures, voters, attitudes, survey experiment, gerrymandering
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