The “Guide to Fair Maps” is written for citizens, advocates and commissioners, as well as legislators, lawyers and judges. This policy guide (1) discusses why Fair Maps are so important to preserve our representative democracy, (2) describes a straightforward test for gerrymandering; and (3) offers a procedure to eradicate gerrymandering while achieving other desired redistricting criteria. The guide contains a broad range of illustrative maps. An associated research paper, “Fair and Square Redistricting,” details, justifies and illustrates a new procedure for constructing legislative district maps. This approach is transparent, nonpartisan, and straightforward. The procedure builds maps where the districts are compact and the maps are verified to be free of gerrymandering.
The proportionality test to determine if a map is free of gerrymandering is typically applied only against the overall set of districts. However, a map can pass that test and still be gerrymandered! This update adds an explanation that the test must also be applied against the set of safe districts and the set of toss-up districts to assure that the map does not disproportionately favor one party over the other.