A widespread belief about county splits in political districting plans is wrong

Consider the task of dividing a state into k contiguous political districts whose populations must not differ by more than one person, following current practice for congressional districting in the USA. A widely held belief among districting experts is that this task requires at least k-1 county splits. This statement has appeared in expert testimony, … Read more

Political districting to optimize the Polsby-Popper compactness score with application to voting rights

\(\)In the academic literature and in expert testimony, the Polsby-Popper score is the most popular way to measure the compactness of a political district. Given a district with area \(A\) and perimeter \(P\), its Polsby-Popper score is given by \( (4 \pi A)/P^2\). This score takes values between zero and one, with circular districts achieving … Read more