Independent Redistricting Commissions Increase Voter Perceptions of Fairness

41 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021 Last revised: 18 Jun 2021

See all articles by Christian R. Grose

Christian R. Grose

University of Southern California

Matthew Nelson

University of Southern California

Date Written: June 1, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Grose, Christian R. and Nelson, Matthew, Independent Redistricting Commissions Increase Voter Perceptions of Fairness (June 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3865702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3865702

Christian R. Grose (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

Von KleinSmid Center, 327
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.christiangrose.com

Matthew Nelson

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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