Other conditions that help prevent partisan gerrymandering
Legislative reform that explicitly prohibits partisan and individual gerrymandering as illegal and violative of the concept of free, fair, and equal elections.
Legislation or policy that prohibits redistricting decisions made specifically to advantage or disadvantage any individual legislator, incumbent or candidate for office.
Prevent politicians from corruptly choosing their own voters, rather than allowing the voters to choose their legislators. Remove legislators and other affected politicians or their close allies from participating in any way in the redistricting process other than the channels accessible to all citizens.
Give the redistricting responsibility to a truly independent, diverse, and well-qualified redistricting commission. Independent authority is essential to the process of fair redistricting.
Require that redistricting officials release immediately, accessibly and permanently all communications of any kind regarding redistricting.
Invite strong public participation using recorded and broadcast public hearings throughout the state. Provide for broadly available, easily accessible, and well-publicized methods for ordinary citizens to submit comments on maps and mapping proposals.
Ensure that citizens who suffer abridgement of the right to free and equal elections can address their grievances expeditiously at any point during the redistricting process or afterward when corrupt redistricting arises.
Give the general public access to the same redistricting data and computer programs used by redistricting officials to draft proposed maps throughout the entire redistricting process. Material advances in the availability and ease of use offers individual citizens the opportunity to participate in ways not possible historically.
Regardless of who draws the lines, strong standards for redistricting design, rigorously enforced can restrain would-be gerrymanderers from manipulating district lines for political advantage.
Election results, partisan voter registration data, or other partisanship indicators invite abuse in district design. Exception: use in the analysis of a proposed map can help to ensure that it responds to voter preferences, detects partisan gerrymandering, and confirms VRA compliance.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1983 created a window to allow some variation in Congressional district populations but did not specify a limit. For state-level electoral districts populations, CCFD recommends a 2% variance (+ or – 2% from precise equality) as a goal to balance equalizing voter representation with keeping municipal subdivisions whole.
Pennsylvania state law allows a district population variance of state house and senate seats to be + or – 5%. This is unnecessarily large in the age of computer aided district design. On the other hand, too low a variance in population will cause excessive municipal divisions and require extensive mapmaking time.