The ReDistricting Game

I saw this one quite a while back, sent it to some friends at Mecklenburg County’s Board of Elections, and then promptly forgot about it. I just ran across it again, however, and I thought some of you might find it fun and interesting.

The ReDistricting Game
is a flash based application created by the USC Annenberg Center that allows you to make your very own political districts. From the web site:

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

I’ve been involved in redistricting work before (which I cannot recommend fleeing from fast enough), and I think this thing is fantastic. It not only is an intuitive and fun interface, it gives you a good idea about all of the issues that are involved in drawing new district lines.

In our jurisdiction redistricting is much easier, as we don’t give politicians the ability to redraw actual precincts - they can only change which precincts are assigned to their particular district. Many of the same issues do apply, however, and this is a great tool to explore the many, many facets involved in redistricting.

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