Op-ed: Better Boundaries will bring better democracy to Utah

"Why the need for redistricting reform? There is an inherent conflict of interest and bias when legislators, who directly benefit from how the boundaries are drawn, have the unilateral discretion to determine “their” district boundaries. It is natural for a legislator to draw a boundary that benefits that legislator personally and politically."

...via Deseret News

The algorithm that could help end partisan gerrymandering

We are living in the era of the computer algorithm. Data science drives the global economy — to the point where, for many people, an algorithm will play a role in everything from what news articles they read to whom they will date — or even marry. So it’s no surprise that political scientists would want to use an algorithm to improve political redistricting, a process that is often distorted by partisan maneuverings.

About 30 years before Ada Lovelace created the world’s first algorithm, a notorious political cartoon appeared in the Boston Gazette. It was inspired by a district map drawn by the Massachusetts governor at the time, Elbridge Gerry. It was clear that his intention, in shaping districts, was to sway the race to favor his Democratic-Republican Party in the senate — and his efforts resulted in some very awkwardly shaped districts. The editorial cartoon was inspired by observations that the district was shaped like a “salamander.” Thus was born the now-famous term “gerrymandering.”

Read the full article here from Vox