Simplified Bipartisan Computer Redistricting
The purpose of this chapter is twofold. The primary purpose is to describe a simple and politically feasible computer program that can reapportion a legislature or other body of people who represent geographical districts. Its secondary aim is to describe some basic computer programming techniques that can help solve some policy problems that cannot be adequately handled either by traditional noncomputer techniques or by existing computer programs.
The redistricting program proposed is designed to implement the value judgments of those responsible for reapportionment. Not only can it transfer a set of agreed-on values into a concrete plan, it can also provide alternative redistricting plans predicated on conflicting values and thereby facilitate compromise. In addition, the program can provide useful information concerning equality, compactness, and politics for an agreed-on redistricting pattern.
The program enables its user to adjust the relative weight to be given to three significant considerations: first, the relative equality of population among the districts -- the one man-one vote requirement;1