Princeton Professor Outlines the Simple Math Test That Might Save American Democracy

Sam Wang has used a combination of computer simulations and simple math tests to help reveal the partisan intent behind the post-2010 redistricting. All this work gave the neuroscientist a new obsession with political reform, electoral fairness and ending the gerrymander once and for all. What started has a hobby evolved into award-winning tests to uncover partisan gerrymandering, influential law review work, and now the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. His latest op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, co-written with Brian Remlinger, holds out hope that math can save our democracy. We checked in with him for a few additional questions.

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The Most Important Thing John Oliver Said About Gerrymandering, and the Solution He Failed to Mention

On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver tackled an issue that many consider the most pressing threat to our democracy: gerrymandering. As he often does, Oliver explained the intricacies of this complex policy issue with wit and humor, much to the alarm of voters everywhere. After explaining how politicians help their own party win seats by “packing and cracking” voters into districts, Oliver left viewers with a glimmer of hope by introducing the idea of independent redistricting commissions. These commissions, he says, wouldn’t solve all our problems but would take self-interested politicians out of the process.

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