Geographic Information Systems-Based Approaches to Study Congressional Redistricting in the United States
The ability for the citizens of a nation to determine their own representation has long been regarded as one of the most critical objectives of any electoral system. Without having the assurance of equality in representation, the fundamental nature and operation of the political system is severely undermined. Given the centuries of institutional reforms and population changes in the American system, Congressional Redistricting stands as an institution whereby this promise of effective representation can either be fulfilled or denied. The broad set of processes that encapsulate Congres- sional Redistricting have been discussed, experimented, and modified to achieve clear objectives and have long been understood to be important. Questions remain about how the dynamics which link all of these processes operate and what impact the real- ities of Congressional Redistricting hold for representation in the American system. This dissertation examines three aspects of how Congressional Redistricting in the Untied States operates in accordance with the principle of “One Person, One Vote.” By utilizing data and data analysis techniques of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), this dissertation seeks to address how Congressional Redistricting impacts the principle of one person, one vote from the standpoint of legislator accountability, redistricting institutions, and the promise of effective minority representation.
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