Show simple item record

Stochastic Study of Gerrymandering

dc.contributor.author Vaughn, Christy
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-06T17:30:00Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-06T17:30:00Z
dc.date.issued 2015-05-06
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9740
dc.description.abstract In the 2012 election for the US House of Representatives, only four of North Carolina’s thirteen congressional districts elected a democrat, despite a majority democratic vote. This raises the question of whether gerrymandering, the process of drawing districts to favor a political party, was employed. This study explores election outcomes under different choices of district boundaries. We represent North Carolina as a graph of voting tabulation districts. A districting is a division of this graph into thirteen connected subgraphs. We define a probability distribution on districtings that favors more compact districts with close to an equal population in each district. To sample from this distribution, we employ the Metropolis-Hastings variant of Markov Chain Monte Carlo. After sampling, election data from the 2012 US House of Representatives election is used to determine how many representatives would have been elected for each party under the different districtings. Of our randomly drawn districts, we find an average of 6.8 democratic representatives elected. Furthermore, none of the districtings elect as few as four democratic representatives, as was the case in the 2012 election.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject gerrymandering
dc.subject Markov Chain Monte Carlo
dc.subject Metropolis-Hastings
dc.subject election
dc.subject stochastic
dc.subject redistricting
dc.title Stochastic Study of Gerrymandering
dc.type Honors thesis
dc.department Mathematics


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record