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End Gerrymandering

We hereby outlaw gerrymandering: All election districts shall be chosen by the following completely unbiased automatic procedure:

1) Start with the boundary outline of the state. (Note: for states containing major separate islands or pieces such as Michigan or Hawaii, the pieces must be pre-joined by line-segments to create an artificial all-enclosing boundary. Each line used must have the property that the entire state lies on one side of it. Second note: The procedure described holds for congressional districts and statehouse seats. For county or city governments based in districts within that county, the same procedure must be used but starting from the county or city outline not the state outline.)
2) Let N=A+B where A and B are as nearly equal whole numbers as possible. (For example, 7=4+3.)
3) Among all possible dividing lines that split the state into two parts with population ratio A:B, choose the shortest. (Note: since the Earth is round, when we say "line" we more precisely mean "great circle." If there is an exact length-tie for "shortest" then break that tie by using the line closest to North-South orientation, and if it's still a tie, then use the Westernmost of the tied dividing lines.)
4) We now have two hemi-states, each to contain a specified number (namely A and B) of districts. Handle them recursively via the same splitting procedure.
5) After this initiative is passed, redistricting to meet these standards must happen within 365 days. After that, exactly one redistricting must happen between US censuses, and it is to be conducted within 365 days after the census data is made public. Exception to the preceding 2 sentences: we allow redistricting caused by any successful court challenge arguing that our rules were not followed during those district drawings. The maximally-populous district must have population at most 6% higher than the minimally-populous one, otherwise our rules have not been followed well enough.)
6) If anybody's residence is split in two by one of the splitlines (which would happen, albeit very rarely) then they are automatically declared to lie in the most-western (or if line is EW, then northern) of the two districts.

Pete_G82, 19.02.2013, 22:26
Idea status: under consideration

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