Redistricting, Geography and Democracy

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Esri
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Maryland A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: David DiBiase
Chairs: David DiBiase


The geographical basis of representative democracy in America is manifest in the decennial reapportionment of congressional representatives by districts. Redrawing congressional district boundaries – allegedly to account for population changes – may be the most consequential application of geography in the U.S., and as it is currently practiced, also the most perverse. Redistricting is debated in terms of geometric properties like shape, contiguity and compactness, but in practice it is a overtly political procedure that aims to optimize power for those who redraw the boundaries. The redistricting that will follow the 2020 national elections will shape the political landscape in the U.S for at least a decade to come. This session will consider the factors, procedures, and implications of redistricting for U.S. democracy.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction David DiBiase Esri 10
Panelist Kenneth Martis West Virginia University 15
Panelist Ruth Buck Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group 15
Panelist James Whitehorne U.S. Bureau Of the Census 15
Panelist Diana Lavery Esri 15
Panelist Daniel McGlone Azavea 15
Discussant Matthew Wilson University of Kentucky 15

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