To mea­sure ger­ry­man­der­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

The Sept. 13 ed­i­to­rial “A call to ac­tion against ger­ry­man­der­ing” was a wel­come re­cap of the dam­age par­ti­san re­dis­trict­ing has done to the abil­ity of cen­trist leg­is­la­tors to gov­ern our coun­try. The ed­i­to­rial men­tioned the need to es­tab­lish stan­dards for ju­di­cial over­sight. Read­ers should know that stan­dards ex­ist to­day that would en­able courts to mea­sure par­ti­san ger­ry­man­der­ing.

Gill v. Whit­ford will look at wasted votes where the win­ning can­di­date gets more votes than needed to win. A math­e­mat­i­cal al­go­rithm then pro­vides an “ef­fi­ciency gap,” which re­flects a built-in ad­van­tage over the loser. Plain­tiffs will ar­gue that if the gap is more than 7 per­cent, the map is rigged and the court has a work­able stan­dard for rul­ing against ger­ry­man­der­ing.

Let’s hope the Supreme Court rul­ing in the up­com­ing Wis­con­sin case will fa­vor stan­dards that will then ap­ply to all states as the 2020 Cen­sus draws near. Irma Shain­berg Sheon, Sil­ver Spring

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