Now, You Too Can Gerrymander!

The Colorado Legislature won’t be redrawing the state’s congressional district map until after the 2010 Census, but why not start practicing now? With a new, free computer game developed by University of Southern California communication professors, anyone can become an expert.

Players of The Redistricting Game choose to be either a Democrat or a Republican and are shown a state with red and blue dots representing voters of different parties. They redraw the congressional districts, and the incumbents cheer or berate you according to how they think they’re doing.

More on the flip…The professors developed the game as an educational tool about gerrymandering. According to a Washington Post article:

Jonathan D. Aronson, a professor and political scientist at USC, is a little exasperated that Americans sometimes worry about the potential for voting-machine tampering when there may be a more fundamental — though, perhaps, drier and harder-to-explain — problem in how districts are drawn.

“My question was, why would you need to rig the voting machines if you’d already rigged the election by making seats safe?” he said.