Here’s a crazy idea: let’s take politics out of the redistricting process and allow the public to participate.

That seems to be exactly what the League of Women Voters is trying to accomplish with their Ohio Redistricting Competition. According to the rules, anyone can submit a plan for redistricting…

Plans submitted under the competition will be ranked and scored based on specific issues, including traditional redistricting principles (compactness and communities of interest) and modern redistricting principles (competitiveness and representational fairness).

So here’s my first suggestion: use the shortest splitline algorithm to generate the districts. “Because the algorithm uses only the shape of the state, the number N of districts wanted, and the population distribution as inputs ? and does not know the party loyalties of those people ? the result cannot be biased.”

Running Ohio through the algorthm with the old census data produces the following districts:


The only thing I want to know now is: what’s my prize if they choose my entry?


By the way, here’s what they currently look like: