WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering
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  1. #1

    WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    It's probably pie in the sky to think that this will ever be implemented, but I think it would be an improvement to our electoral system. It could also be a step toward breaking the electoral college into congressional districts instead of states.

    Washington Post


    Brian Olson is a software engineer in Massachusetts who wrote a program to draw "optimally compact" equal-population congressional districts in each state, based on 2010 census data. Olson's algorithm draws districts that respect the boundaries of census blocks, which are the smallest geographic units used by the Census Bureau. This ensures that the district boundaries reflect actual neighborhoods and don't, say, cut an arbitrary line through somebody's house.


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  3. #2

    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    The electoral college was set up to be sure that states weren't overridden by population centers. Just like each state has 2 senators in order to accomplish the same thing in the legislative branch. Why is that wrong?

  4. #3

    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by bama_wayne1 View Post
    The electoral college was set up to be sure that states weren't overridden by population centers. Just like each state has 2 senators in order to accomplish the same thing in the legislative branch. Why is that wrong?
    The Electoral College was set up by the founders to ensure someone like Trump wouldn't ascend to the presidency; it was neutered by the two parties and became what we have today. Gerrymandering is a broken system of mapping districts, set up by Congress to strategically group the population in order to minimize the threat of challengers to our Congressional representatives.

  5. #4
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bamaro's Avatar
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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by bama_wayne1 View Post
    The electoral college was set up to be sure that states weren't overridden by population centers. Just like each state has 2 senators in order to accomplish the same thing in the legislative branch. Why is that wrong?
    So you are in favor of gerrymandering? Gerrymandering goes way beyond the EC.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame selmaborntidefan's Avatar
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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Aledinho View Post
    It's probably pie in the sky to think that this will ever be implemented, but I think it would be an improvement to our electoral system. It could also be a step toward breaking the electoral college into congressional districts instead of states.

    Washington Post





    Both of your suggestions are pie in the sky and will never happen.

    And as long as we keep the EC, a state with a brain has zero incentive to limit its clout by splitting its EVs.
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  7. #6

    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamaro View Post
    So you are in favor of gerrymandering? Gerrymandering goes way beyond the EC.
    No I'm not but there is no evidence that it has effected the electoral college.

  8. #7
    BamaNation All-SEC BamaInMo1's Avatar
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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    For those trying to champion the one person/one vote and let each person's vote count: be careful what you wish for. At least 40% of the voters in this country do not pay taxes/really contribute to society and have no clue as to why they are really voting for someone other than voting for someone just because of the color of their skin or their party affiliation (and it does cut both ways). Do you really want a block of 40% who are leeches to really have that much "power" in determining who runs this country?

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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaInMo1 View Post
    For those trying to champion the one person/one vote and let each person's vote count: be careful what you wish for. At least 40% of the voters in this country do not pay taxes/really contribute to society and have no clue as to why they are really voting for someone other than voting for someone just because of the color of their skin or their party affiliation (and it does cut both ways). Do you really want a block of 40% who are leeches to really have that much "power" in determining who runs this country?
    Wow you're right. I didn't think about it like that. We should probably institute some kind of intelligence test to ensure that the people voting actually get educated on the issues that for a given election cycle. Because it's obviously the "uneducated voter" that you really have an issue with, right?

  10. #9
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bamaro's Avatar
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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by bama_wayne1 View Post
    No I'm not but there is no evidence that it has effected the electoral college.
    Thats kind of my point. Gerrymandering is much more about the House.

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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by chanson78 View Post
    Wow you're right. I didn't think about it like that. We should probably institute some kind of intelligence test to ensure that the people voting actually get educated on the issues that for a given election cycle. Because it's obviously the "uneducated voter" that you really have an issue with, right?
    My understanding is that this is basically what the electors were originally set up to be. People elected to represent their states to make educated decisions on who to vote for taking into account the views of the people they represent.

    It doesn't work that way now but the electoral college still achieves one objective and that is to keep large states from running over smaller states in elections.

  12. #11
    BamaNation All-SEC BamaInMo1's Avatar
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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by chanson78 View Post
    Wow you're right. I didn't think about it like that. We should probably institute some kind of intelligence test to ensure that the people voting actually get educated on the issues that for a given election cycle. Because it's obviously the "uneducated voter" that you really have an issue with, right?
    Yes, it is the uneducated voter that we should all have a problem with. People make choices about whether to educate themselves or not. I've never forced anyone out there to drop out of school to sell drugs or just simply because those around them tell them how lucrative it is to live off the gvt (that is the people who go to work every day to pay taxes and be productive in our society). People who are illiterate who live off the gvt (the taxpayers) have only one goal in mind and that's to vote for the party who promises "FREE STUFF" for nothing. Of course, those of us who have at least a little bit of education realize that nothing is for free and we tax payers foot the bill. I'm all for helping people who need help, but in today's society with the great institution of gvt run public education there is simply no reason that people are not literate.
    And this is not just a "black/minority" issue because Asians, Indians and Hispanics do well in school and there are plenty of white people who have gotten lazy and are becoming more illiterate. When you start letting ANYONE (regardless of race, religion, etc), who do not contribute to a society, have an equal voice in society then that society will erode (much like the U.S. is doing now).

  13. #12

    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    So the article says that this guy's program completely ignores race. I don't have a problem with that but the Voting Rights Act would. Down here in Alabama that would probably mean some races could have no representation. That in my opinion is going backwards.

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    Re: WP: Computer Programmer Solved Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by bama_wayne1 View Post
    So the article says that this guy's program completely ignores race. I don't have a problem with that but the Voting Rights Act would. Down here in Alabama that would probably mean some races could have no representation. That in my opinion is going backwards.
    People do tend to gather (live) along racial, national origin, religious and political lines (herd mentality). Splitting those lines in order to get your preferred mix is gerrymandering. The above example should (but may not) be the most equitable way of dividing districts.

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