So there has been some fairly groundbreaking work on the science of voting and Gerrymandering that I doubt your staff has read about. A Princeton math PhD named Warren Smith, whose work formed the basis of the 2008 book Gaming the Vote wrote this exhaustive piece on Gerrymandering.
In short, his view is that redistricting commissions generally don’t work, and any system that requires human beings to agree to districts is vulnerable to bipartisan gerrymandering.
There are only a few good solutions.
- A contest based paradigm.
Law establishes a clear objective mathematical definition of the quality of a districting, and anyone can submit a drawing. The submission with the best score wins. If the quality definition is flawed or biased, that will be patently obvious and objective.
- An objective district drawing algorithm, such as the Shortest Splitline Algorithm (invented by Smith himself). Below is a before and after of Indiana for example.
- Proportional Representation (PR) Unfortunately this requires multi-member districts, which are illegal for Congress.
- Single-winner (non-PR) alternative voting methods
Examples such as Approval Voting or Score Voting Less powerful than PR, but legal and highly effective at mitigating Gerrymandering. As an example, Fargo adopted Approval Voting by a 64% majority last fall.
Co-founder, The Center for Election Science