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Fair redistricting is hard

by   Richard Kueng, et al.
The Ohio State University

Gerrymandering is a long-standing issue within the U.S. political system, and it has received scrutiny recently by the U.S. Supreme Court. In this note, we prove that deciding whether there exists a fair redistricting among legal maps is NP-hard. To make this precise, we use simplified notions of "legal" and "fair" that account for desirable traits such as geographic compactness of districts and sufficient representation of voters. The proof of our result is inspired by the work of Mahanjan, Minbhorkar and Varadarajan that proves that planar k-means is NP-hard.


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