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A New Project on Partisan Gerrymandering

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This is a big year for partisan gerrymandering. Recently, star litigator Paul M. Smith has cleared the decks for voting-rights cases in the courts. That’s just one move of many that assures that voting rights will be in the spotlight in the coming Supreme Court term.

The effects of partisan gerrymandering are plain in the graph above. Up until and including the election of 2010, seats the U.S. House were related to the national vote as indicated by the shaded gray zone. The redistricting of 2010 led to a jump of about a dozen seats away from recent historical trends. The suddenness of this change, along with my statistical analysis (Stanford Law Review) reveals how this jump arose from partisan redistricting efforts in a handful of states. The jump comes from the fact that more advantage was gained by one side (NC, PA, OH, MI, VA) than the other (IL, MD). This net change can vary by decade, and depends on who controls the legislative process.

Today, I am pleased to announce that starting in 2017, I will take my work on partisan gerrymandering to a new level. I am now looking for full-time help for the next one to two years.

As many readers know, I have developed simple statistical standards to define partisan gerrymandering. These standards are designed to be consistent with existing Supreme Court precedent, and avoid statutory and Constitutional landmines that other standards may hit. Representationally, this project may lead to a net change of dozens of House and other legislative seats. Cases are now percolating through courts in Maryland (a gerrymander that benefits Democrats) and Wisconsin and North Carolina (benefiting Republicans). Without getting into the details, I will say that our work will be unique, and is highly likely to be deployed as an argument in these cases.

My proposed standards have been published in the Stanford Law Review and the Election Law Journal, and have won a prize from Common Cause. If adopted, the tests will level the playing field between the two parties.

I am now recruiting a Statistical Research Assistant to analyze elections and redistricting. The term of appointment is one year, renewable for a second year.

Together, we will:

  • Apply the statistical analysis to Congress and state legislatures, 1900-now, to identify which states and parties benefited, and to compare this with patterns of legislative control;
  • Compare the results with map-based methods and other newer standards such as the efficiency gap; and
  • Assist in the preparation of reports, in-depth analysis, and possible peer-reviewed publications.

This position is very suitable for someone who is between college and graduate school. More experienced applicants are also welcome. In all cases, the person must be available full-time. Progress on this project will drive practical impacts and original publications. The ideal candidate will have experience in statistics, have some experience with MATLAB and Python, and be able to communicate clearly and accurately with non-statistician audiences. He/she will learn to use Maptitude for Redistricting.

If time and expertise permit, we will also make the site gerrymander.princeton.edu more user-friendly. For this work, I am looking for a second person with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python abilities. This may be a contract or shared-time position.

Soon there will be an official job posting, at which time the goals and requirements may be modified slightly. In advance of that, I invite interested people to send me an email at sswang@princeton.edu and describe their qualifications and availability.

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diannemharris
5 hours ago
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acdha
17 hours ago
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Washington, DC
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Inside Budapest’s secret Bauhaus treasures

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Inside Budapest’s secret Bauhaus treasures

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diannemharris
3 days ago
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I love them all, but also having flashbacks to moving a c shaped couch in college. Eeek.
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After Metro Rejected Its Ads, Women's Clinic Parked Billboard Outside WMATA Headquarters

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After Metro Rejected Its Ads, Women's Clinic Parked Billboard Outside WMATA Headquarters The truck will be driving around the city through Saturday. [ more › ]
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diannemharris
3 days ago
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felthief: selphinrose: bogleech: bogleech: selphinrose: somethingsomethingbutterfly: of-anothe...

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felthief:

selphinrose:

bogleech:

bogleech:

selphinrose:

somethingsomethingbutterfly:

of-another-broken-heart:

So the USA is trying to starve its poor to death. Not even an exaggeration. 

The SNAP program is getting some work requirements applied again which are expected to leave up to (or more than) a MILLION people without benefits. Of these people, 97% are at OR BELOW the poverty line. 

And the only way to “earn” your benefits - the way to “prove” that you don’t “deserve” to starve to death - is to work 20 hours per week, or 80 per month. 

Either pull a job out of your ass (earn your paycheck AND qualify for food assistance), OR participate in 80 hours of UNPAID labor (PLUS the expense and time of transportation to and from a set, unflexible location). 

And after working 80 hours (plus paying money you don’t have for transportation to get to the designated “program” location/s) for the state to “prove” you don’t deserve to die, you get… are you ready?

I’m gonna use the Florida figures, because that’s what I was reading up on.

Less than $200 in food assistance. The average is actually less than 150.

Care to do the math? 

$150 for 80 hours. 

$1.88 per hour. 

The USA is a fucking dystopia. 

What the ever living fuck.

@fullten @lady-feral I…what

Yeah, I was hit with this. We’re okay right now since we’re staying with family, though feeding us puts a strain on them as well.

I make some internet money that works out to about 125 a week so if I wanna keep getting my food assistance I have to itemize that so it qualifies as a 20 hour a week job, which it probably does, but it’s ridiculous that anyone has to do this and most people under the poverty line will not be able to.

I HAVE had real jobs. I’ve had enough real jobs that the taxes taken out of my own past paychecks already cover all the food assistance I’ve used and plenty to come. I have already paid for this food myself.

And every day a politician somewhere in this country wastes enough money to feed our entire fucking population.

I WANNA ADD SOMETHING IMPORTANT for anyone who thinks they might need to sign up for food assistance, cause a few people just asked me some stuff about it.

In your interviews and applications, they are going to ask “do you ever eat with other people.”

This is a trick question.

You’re gonna probably think “well, technically, yeah, I had lunch with my friend last week…my mom made me a dinner….”

STOP

Answer NO. Always always answer NO.

This question is designed to weed people out. If you admit to literally ever sharing a meal with another human being, that actually allows them to deny or alter your benefit amount. Even though this is legally referred to as “supplemental” food assistance and it isn’t enough to live on by itself, Republicans already don’t want anyone to have even that, and they want to consider it “fraud” if you both receive food assistance and EVER share food with another person, whether you’ve used your benefits to buy ingredients for someone’s birthday dinner or your mom made you a casserole one visit.

The correct thing to say when asked these questions is “I purchase and prepare my own food” or “we eat separately.” Even if you’ve already told them you live with family or a roommate.

Remember: Republicans don’t even want assistance recipients to be able to buy “luxury” items like fucking pasta sauce. They would limit you to nothing but gruel if they could. They’ve fought and pushed to load the benefit process with “tricks” and catch-22′s like these to treat as wide a range of people they can as lazy fraudsters and moochers.

Hey @fullten , this is some super important information from bogleech here. Sorry to bother you to post it again but I think this might save some people some pain in the future to see this.

This is legit, I got hit with that ‘job requirement’ shit and luckily my Doctor helped with the paperwork to get me exempt since working is basically something I can’t do (at least not for very long – I worked 30 hours a week just a few months ago and it literally ruined my quality of life, my depression and anxiety were amplified so badly that I was unable to do basic things like clean the dishes or take showers, and slept for 24+ hour stretches). It’s a huge pain in the ass, but if you CAN’T work, you need to get some kind of doctor on board to help you by writing a note or something, if possible. Also, when you’re applying initially, list ONLY YOURSELF as your ‘household’. If you list multiple people it requires you to list all of their earnings and assets and even having a room-mate with a decent job can literally disqualify you.

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CallMeWilliam
5 days ago
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MBI is the only way to save the day.
diannemharris
5 days ago
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skittone
7 days ago
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:(. This isn't the America I want for us.

When The Brain Scrambles Names, It's Because You Love Them

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I know that name is here somewhere.

If your mom had to run though the name of everyone in the family, including the dog, before hitting yours, it's probably because you're all in a mental folder labeled "loved ones."

(Image credit: Alex Reynolds/NPR)

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diannemharris
6 days ago
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An SQL Injection Attack Is a Legal Company Name in the UK

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Someone just registered their company name as ; DROP TABLE "COMPANIES";-- LTD.

Reddit thread. Obligatory xkcd comic.

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diannemharris
9 days ago
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lolz
CallMeWilliam
9 days ago
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1 public comment
hansolosays
18 days ago
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lol wonder what their URL will be...
Norfolk, Virginia
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