How would you fix a gerrymandered district

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SPEAKER: I'mhappytointroducetoday

Speaker: I am pleased to introduce you today

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BrianOlson, aformermemberofthisofficefromafewyears

BrianOlson, a former member of this office for a number of years

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ago, who'sbeendoingcomputerscienceformany, manyyears

who has been doing IT for many, many years

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andalsobeeninterestedinapplying

and was also interested in an application

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computersciencetopolitics.

Computer science to politics.

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Sohe'sheretodaytotalkabouthisthoughts

So here today to talk about your thoughts

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onthat, usingcomputersciencetogetbetterdemocracy.

Using computer science to achieve better democracy.

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SopleasewelcomeBrianOlson.

Please say hello to BrianOlson.

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APPLAUSE

APPLAUSE

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BRIANOLSON: Soifyou'veeverhad

BRIANOLSON: Well, if you ever had

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thefeelingthatourdemocracyisnotentirelyfair,

the feeling that our democracies are not entirely fair,

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andsometimesthedeckisstacked, you'reright.

and sometimes the deck is stacked, you're right.

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Inalotofplaces, wehavedemocracy

We have democracy in many places

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thathasbeendistortedbythestatelegislature,

that was distorted by the state parliament,

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usingtheirpowertomakesurethatheirfavoritecandidate

Use your strength to ensure that your favorite candidate

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wins.

Wins.

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InFloridain 2010, theypassedbyballotinitiative

In Florida they were passed on an election initiative in 2010

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anewlawtopreventthat from happening, butitdidn'twork.

A new law to prevent this from happening, but it didn't work.

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ThismapthattheFloridaStatelegislaturedrewwaslater

This map, drawn up by the legislature of the federal state of Florida, was created later

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thrownoutbycourtdecision.

Thrown out by court ruling.

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Sothat'swhatwecallgerrymandering.

This is what we call Gerrymandering.

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Gerrymanderingisthedistortionofdistricts,

Gerrymandering is the distortion of districts

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representationaldistricts, towardsomepoliticalend.

Representative districts, against a political end.

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Howdoesitwork?

How does it work?

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Solet'ssayyou'vegotthishypotheticalmapthat

So let's assume you have this hypothetical card

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hasthe 60-40 splitinitspopulationfavoring

has favored the 60-40 split in its population

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thegreenpeople.

the green people.

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Now, ifyoucutthatupinaverysimpleway,

If you simply cut up the supervisor,

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yougetthreedistrictsthatthegreenpeoplewin,

You get three districts that win the green people

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andtwodistrictsthatthepurplepeoplewin,

and two districts that the purple people gain,

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preservingthatratio.

Maintaining this relationship.

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Ifyoucutitdifferently, andyoupackenoughgreenpeople

When you cut it differently and pack enough green people

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intojustacoupleofdistricts, you

in just a couple of districts, you

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cangetthreedistrictswherethepurpleminoritywins,

can get three districts, in which the purple minority wins,

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thusinvertingandlettingtheminoritypower

so invert and let the minority power

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havethemajoritypowerinthatfive-personstatelegislature.

have the majority power in this five-member state parliament.

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Orifyoudoittheotherway, andyousplitthepurplepeople

Or when you do it differently and the purple people split

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justright, theydon't getamajorityanywhere,

exactly right, you will not get a majority anywhere,

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andthey'recompletelyshutout.

and they are completely excluded.

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Thesis strategy of "packingandcracking"

These "pack and crack" strategies

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havebeenusedinmanyplacesaroundourcountry.

have been used in many places in our country.

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InFlorida, thisdistrictwasfound

This district was found in Florida

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tobeillegallypackingtoomanypeople

illegal to pack too many people

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ofanunder-representedgroupintoonedistrict

an underrepresented group in a district

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sothattheywouldhavelessinfluenceelsewhere.

otherwise they would have less influence.

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Floridawasdoingthatin 2012.

Florida did that in 2012.

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Butthisisgerrymandering from 1812 in Massachusetts,

But that is Gerrymandering of 1812 in Massachusetts,

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wherethetermwasinvented.

woder term was found.

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GovernorElbridgeGerrysignedintolaw

Governor ElbridgeGerry signed the law

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thismapthatwasdrawnintopoliticalcartoon

this map drawn in political caricature

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asthismonstrousdragon, asalamander

than this conspicuous dragon, a salamander

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thuscoiningthe "gerrymander."

So the "Gerrymander" is minted.

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It'sgottenalotworselately, becausecomputershaveallowed

It has gotten much worse recently because computers have allowed it

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peopletodrawlinesveryfinely, looking

People, in order to draw lines very finely, look

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atallthedemographicsdowntolittlepockets

In general, the demographics are small pockets

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ofhundredpeoplehereandthere,

of a hundred people here and there,

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andthusmakingdesignerdistrictsjust

and thus make designer districts fair

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for herparticularpurpose.

for your special purpose.

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But what if we used that computational power

But what if we used the same computing power?

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tomakecompletelyimpartialdistrictsthat

completely impartial districts to make that

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justtriedtomakelocalrepresentation

I was just trying to make a local presentation

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withoutanypoliticalbias?

without political prejudice?

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