As the entire US redraws every state and congressional district over the next two years, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project will support fair and transparent redistricting during this critical juncture in American democracy. We have pioneered new methods for data collection, map analysis, legal briefs, and redistricting legislation to help reformers in all 50 states.
We are focusing on 10-15 priority states in the next 2 years where redistricting reform needs critical support, or where litigation is likely and rigorous analysis necessary. PGP solves four issues that are key to reform:
- Give data to people who need it: In many states, granular geographic election data is difficult to acquire or use to draw or analyze maps. We are building datasets and resources that allow anyone to access this data before redistricting in 2020 and 2021.
- Use technology to empower citizens during redistricting: Political parties often have access to advanced data and technology that enables them to draw maps with unforeseen effects. We work with experts and developers to create open source software and applications to empower citizens. We are closely involved in this community and are working to lead the dissemination and training of citizens in our priority states.
- Rapid response during the 2021 redistricting process. Redistricting will kick into high gear in 2021 after Census data becomes available. We will go through a period of high-intensity work requiring the rapid analysis of draft plans, construction of demonstration maps, and coordination with press organizations and citizen groups in a dozen key states.
- Assist formation of local reform networks within states: Some states, like Virginia and Michigan, have a strong anti-gerrymandering advocacy coalitions. Many states lack interdisciplinary efforts to monitor political map drawing. In Virginia and Michigan, our data and analysis has been critical to reform. We plan to give tools to local actors in these states so that they have capacities similar to ours.
About the team: PGP is a six person cross-functional and interdisciplinary team housed at Princeton University. This team currently produces reports, prepares data, performs analysis, and publishes state-specific legal and mathematical analysis wherever redistricting is happening. Examples include: