November 7, 2012

Compact and contiguous

Another random note on the US elections: the Congressional districts have been redrawn after the 2010 Census. In most states, this is done by the incumbent state government.   In a perfect world, the possible electoral advantages wouldn’t affect the boundaries.  As an example, look at the Pennsylvania map (especially districts 7 and 12)

Article II, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution says that the Commonwealth’s 50 senatorial districts and 203 representative districts “shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable.” It also says that “Unless absolutely necessary, no county, city, incorporated town, borough township or ward shall be divided in forming either a senatorial or representative district.”   



Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »