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Designing Fair Voting Districts
Series Title:
Linear Programming
Morrison, Angela
Grewe, Weston


Course Material ( sobekcm )


Voting districts in the US must be redrawn every decade to account for changes in population and have historically been a point of contention. Districts are often subject to various techniques meant to skew the result in one way or another. At their worst, a party may be able to translate a minority of support into representing a majority of seats. Our project implements a method to fairly design voting districts by creating districts of equal population that are also polygons. Since other considerations must be taken into account to prevent unintentional gerrymandering, these districts can be considered a starting point for an impartial redistricting committee. We propose a possible redistricting of the city council districts for the city of Denver that minimizes the distance the average voter must travel to their polling location. Our council districts are found through an application of constrained least-squares clustering, a method that finds possible districts with the same number of voters and of similar geographical shapes. Our goal is to use the current in-person voting locations to better define the council districts within the city of Denver. In doing so, these districts would be more equitable to the populations they represent. Moreover, this technique can be easily adopted to other electoral districts, for instance, the districts for the Colorado House of Representatives or the Colorado congressional districts.
Collected for Auraria Institutional Repository by the Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Angela Morrison.
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