June 21, 2004
Code is Votes is Law

LawMeme points to another part of the lawmaking process changed by technology Computer-Generated Redistricting.

Basically, Maptitude takes the guesswork out of redistricting. A political party in charge of the state legislature can now, with a remarkable degree of precision ("within a single voter," one panelist said), redraw voting districts so that the districts include any set of voters that the political party wants. This historically unprecedented power is only enhanced by the latitude that states have been given to draw district lines.
State legislatures have always been able to design districts with bizarre shapes to further particular results, technology just gives them greater precision.

Posted by Wendy at June 21, 2004 12:17 PM | TrackBack

Nothing new. I remember visiting a cousin who worked as a staffer in the Texas legislature about 15 years ago. They had bought HP 9000/735 workstations (the highest-end HP made at the time) and were doing computer-assisted gerrymandering to favor Democratic candidates. The workstations were sold a mere two weeks afterwards.

Posted by: Fazal Majid on June 21, 2004 12:48 PM
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