Publications by Year: 2005

Altman M, McDonald MP, MacDonald K. Pushbutton Gerrymanders: How computers changed redistricting. In Party Lines: Competition, Partisanship, and Congressional Redistricting Brookings Press; 2005. pp. 51-67. Publisher's Version pushbutton.pdf
Smith M. Eternal bits [digital files preservation]. 2005;42(7):22 - 27.
Altman M, Gill J, McDonald MP. A Comparison of the Numerical Properties of EI Methods. In King G, Rosen O, Tanner MA Ecological Inference: New Methodological Strategies Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2005. pp. 383–409. Publisher's VersionAbstract
All statistical techniques place limitations on the types of data and the range of inferences that can be accomodated. All computional implementations of these statistical techniques impose further limitations due to algorithmic and low-level computational implementations. Failure to understand these issues can lead to gross misperceptions and seriously incorrect inferences. In this work we examine the numerical accuracy of King's (1997) approach, to ecological inference by using data perturbation, error analysis, and comparative reliability assessment.
Altman M, Klass GM. Current research in voting, elections, and technology. Social Science Computer Review [Internet]. 2005;23:269–273. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Although researchers have yet to achieve consensus on the broad impact of information technology on our understanding of the practice of politics, the broad outlines of a research agenda are emerging. In this overview, we discuss the current work, and identify important research questions that remain to be addressed.
Altman M, MacDonald K, McDonald M. From Crayons to Computers: The Evolution of Computer Use in Redistricting. Social Science Computer Review [Internet]. 2005;23:334–346. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Following the most recent round of redistricting, observers across the political spectrum warned that computing technology had fundamentally changed redistricting, for the worse. They are concerned that computers enable the creation of finely crafted redistricting plans that promote partisan and career goals, to the detriment of electoral competition, and that, ultimately, thwart voters' ability to express their will through the ballot box. In this article, we provide an overview of the use of computers in redistricting, from the earliest reports of their utilization, through today. We then report responses to our survey of state redistricting authorities'computer use in 1991 and 2001. With these data, we assess the use of computers in redistricting, and the fundamental capabilities of computer redistricting systems.