I’m starting a long(er)-term project looking at congressional redistricting. This is the process done every decade (following the constitutionally mandated census) to redraw the boundaries of the districts represented in the House of Representatives. It can also be done, with less legitimate cause, at any time a state chooses.
There a few reasons I find this topic interesting:
- Republicans maintained control of the House in the 2012 elections. They did this despite more Americans having voted for a Democratic representative than a Republican one. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, but it’s been fun seeing people try to explain it and I’m interested in exploring this phenomenon more.
- I like the idea of multi-member districts. I was first exposed to this idea a few years ago by Matthew Yglesias, and it has stayed with me largely because it’s probably my only chance of ever becoming a congressman.
- It will finally give me an excuse to play with maps.
I’m not sure where this project is headed, but along the way we’ll get to play with these ideas as well as the Voting Rights Act, the “big house”, gerrymandering and so much more.