[EM] Automatic redistricting

Joe Weinstein jweins123 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 23 16:05:35 PST 2002

Tony Simmons writes:

'Perhaps the trick is to let the voters create their own
districts.'  [Rather than geography- or party- defined partitioning of the 
electorate] 'it might be better to think of "consituencies"'.

'The obvious way to allow voters to define their own
constituencies is with something like STV, which allows
voters to group themselves through the act of voting itself.'

I think Tony's idea is good but the last quoted sentence misleadingly 
summarizes the proposal for implementing the idea.

In fact, the potential 'constituencies' are actually defined not by the 
individual voters but by the individual CANDIDATES (i.e., by where THEY 
happen to live).  Also, use of STV rather than some other method has nothing 
to do with the essence of the proposal.  Any desired method for choosing 
multiple winners - my favorite would be PAV - could be used.

Further, one could dispense with the proposed geographic criteria for 
shortening each voter's ballot.  In my opinion these criteria are needlessly 
restrictive and overly elaborate.  Why not instead use a single long ballot? 
- but one that lists all candidates by place of residence in a recognizable 
geographic order (e.g., by counties or by other recognized small zones, 
possibly even derived from a recent prior geography-based districting 
scheme).  Then each voter could, to the extent desired, factor in 
candidates' geographic proximity.  In particular, a voter who really wants a 
short proximity-based ballot (comprising just the nearby-residing 
candidates) could readily find the part(s) of the full ballot that really 
interest him.

For that matter, as balloting gets computerized, a presented ballot could 
come with an indexing of the candidates in terms of place of residence, 
political party, and maybe also each of several other attributes of 

Joe Weinstein
Long Beach CA USA

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