Following an extremely challenging decennial census, data for redistricting was released by the Census Bureau in August and September of 2021, about five months later than the usual April 1 release. By the time of the AAG meeting, many states will have concluded the redistricting process. This redistricting round will be held with increased public attention and increased availability of free tools for public analysis and input. Many states are redistricting under new systems implemented in reaction to the 2011 redistricting round, which resulted in what were widely seen as egregious partisan gerrymanders. Advocacy groups have emerged to fight for transparency and fair processes, and academics from diverse disciplines have focused or refocused their attention on redistricting and democracy.
While redistricting is happening now, as this call goes out, in reality the preparation for redistricting and battles over the process and the resulting plans are years-long affairs with the current redistricting round as the fulcrum. Despite anticipating that most states will have completed redistricting by the time of the AAG meeting, February 2022 will be the perfect time for discussion, analysis, and reflection.
We invite papers from diverse perspectives on any aspect of redistricting and redistricting reform, including community perspectives, methods, analysis, reports from the field, etc., Potential topics of interest include but are not limited to:
- Traditional and emerging redistricting criteria
- Prison gerrymandering, including reports from states which have implemented residence return of incarcerated persons
- Automated redistricting and its relation to seminal methods in regionalization
- Quantitative measures of partisan fairness, including innovations, use, impact, and validity
- Comparison of redistricting bodies such as legislatures, bipartisan commissions, and nonpartisan commissions
- The role of public participation in the redistricting process, including analysis of its impact on outcomes of the 2021 redistricting round
- Communities of interest, including experiences of how legislatures and commissions incorporated information about COIs
- The diminished Voting Rights Act and the impact of the redistricting process on minority representation
- Public redistricting map submission, including map competitions and impact and evaluation of public maps
- The geographer’s understanding of compactness and its use in redistricting
- Open GIS (including open data) in the redistricting process
We expect that the conference will also host reflections on the Fall 2021 AAG Redistricting Panel Series and will coordinate with the organizers to ensure that these sessions form a cohesive track at AAG 2022.
Please send your Session ID, title, and 250 word abstract to Lee Hachadoorian (Lee.Hachadoorian@temple.edu) and James Thatcher (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Tuesday, October 19. (If you need confirmation of inclusion before making a decision regarding conference registration, please contact us with your abstract by Sunday, October 17.) Indicate whether you intend to attend in person or virtually. We intend to organize at least one in person session, but with sufficient virtual papers may organize a virtual session as well.