Objective Redistricting, Take 2

Well, they just submitted Arnold’s redistricting plan, and apart from a few oddities is actually better than I feared. In
particular, the ‘special masters’ are (as I asked) supposed to use objective criteria to evaluate plans, which can
be submitted from (effectively) any interested

The proposed criteria aren’t
bad, but I have a few ideas on how to make it better (and perhaps

a) Defer Congressional
redistricting until after the census, to mute Blue-state criticism, while
pushing internal reforms

b) Only request plans for
Assembly Districts. Then, use the 1:2:20 ratio for Assembly:Senate:Equalization
seats to automatically find the best grouping after that, since its a
computationally tractable problem.

Before accepting proposals, the special masters

i) define ‘deviation’ as either
“standard deviation” or “maximal

ii) define ‘compactness’
mathematically (e.g., moment of inertia or fraction of an enclosing

iii) list relevant “communities of
interest” not to be split up (besides

iv) State their weighting
criteria: compactness vs. connectedness vs.

There should be a
comment period for people to refine these, but it should close *before* plans
are publicly submitted and evaluated. That way optimizers have something
explicit to work on, and ‘spoilers’ can’t invent arbitrary criteria after the
fact to derail plans they don’t like.