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Regulating Redistricting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2007

Michael P. McDonald
George Mason University and Brookings Institution


As 2010 nears, state governments are preparing for the decennial political ritual of equalizing legislative district population as revealed by the new census. If the past is a guide, legislatures will grind to a standstill as legislators wrestle with the politically charged task of redistricting. But where legislators, party leaders, staff, consultants, and lawyers spend considerable time, effort, and money on their obsession with district boundaries, political scientists come to mixed conclusions about redistricting's effect on electoral politics. About the only consensus reached is on the electoral effects of racial gerrymandering, where debate has shifted to its normative implications.

© 2007 The American Political Science Association

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