Fracking: A Contiguity-Related Redistricting Metric

11 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jonathan Cervas

Jonathan Cervas

Carnegie Mellon University - Institute for Politics and Strategy

Bernard Grofman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Politics and Society

Tracy Horgan

Maptitude for Redistricting

Robert Freimer

Maptitude for Redistricting

Date Written: June 4, 2021

Abstract

We add a useful term to the list of geographically defined redistricting criteria. Fracking is defined as a situation in which a county or city or other well-established political subunit is found in two or more discontiguous pieces within the same legislative district. This criterion has been identified by some courts and legislatures but had never been given a name. Fracking can be used as a gerrymandering tool, with fracking that involves pieces whose racial or partisan composition differs from that of the geographic area between the fracks. The name was chosen to resonate with other terms in the redistricting literature that have been applied in the gerrymandering context: namely, cracking, stacking , and packing . Non-fragmentation of political subunits boundaries is included in what are commonly referred to as “traditional redistricting criteria”. The presence of fracking strongly suggests the possibility of intentional racial or partisan gerrymandering.

Keywords: redistricting, gerrymandering, representation

Suggested Citation

Cervas, Jonathan and Grofman, Bernard and Horgan, Tracy and Freimer, Robert, Fracking: A Contiguity-Related Redistricting Metric (June 4, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3877631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3877631

Jonathan Cervas (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Institute for Politics and Strategy ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Posner Hall 3866
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Bernard Grofman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Politics and Society ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
(949) 824-6394, 5361 (Phone)

Tracy Horgan

Maptitude for Redistricting ( email )

Robert Freimer

Maptitude for Redistricting ( email )

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