Sam Wang, Ben Williams, & Rick Ober

Sam Wang is a professor at Princeton University. He is founder of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

Ben Williams and Rick Ober are legal analysts at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

Recent Articles

How Gerrymandering Reform Can Win in the States

Through local action, Democrats this November have a chance to untilt the playing field in every state that now has an extreme partisan gerrymander. 

This article appears in the Fall 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Despite severe gerrymandering, Democrats stand a strong chance this November of regaining power in statehouses across America. If they realize those gains nationwide, they can use the resulting pro-reform climate to level the playing field for the next decade. Increasingly, voters live near politically like-minded neighbors, a geographic pattern of population clustering that serves as the raw material for constructing gerrymanders. In 2010, Republicans used this raw material to create the most gerrymanders in modern history and consequently, a large political advantage. Even if Republicans lose the national popular vote by as much as 6 percentage points, we estimate that they still have an even-odds chance of retaining control of the House of Representatives. A good half of that advantage comes from creative districting in a handful of states. As a result, several dozen House seats in those...

The States Are Now the Best Route to Gerrymandering Reform

In every state with an extreme partisan gerrymander, there’s a potential solution in the state itself.

It's been a tough few weeks for gerrymandering reform. Two decisions in the closing days of the Supreme Court’s term, Gill v. Whitford and Abbott v. Perez , have raised barriers to proving claims of gerrymandering. With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, those barriers will only worsen. The writing is on the wall: It's time for trench warfare. In Gill , a case concerning partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, the Court refused to address the legal theory that voters with a shared political affiliation can be harmed by a statewide pattern of baroque districting. Despite being presented with easy and clear mathematical tests to calculate the statewide impact of partisan gerrymandering, the Court insisted on a district-by-district analysis. Unfortunately, this piecemeal approach opens the risk of biased or incomplete remedies. Then, in Abbott , which concerned racial gerrymandering in Texas, the Court raised the bar dramatically on what it would take to prove discriminatory...