2021-09-11: Writing LTE's for "Check Your Work"

attachments on this page by label:


What are benchmarks?

  • Independent benchmarks are created by drawing thousands of maps that comply with traditional criteria but have no political intent built in.  A collection of such maps reflects the natural political preferences of voters.  The collection will therefore reveal the approximate number of Republican and Democratic districts that a non-politically-influenced, fair map should have.  

  • Benchmarks will also show the number of competitive districts a fair map should have.  

  • By comparing the collection to the maps drawn by the legislature, we can see if they are fair.  

  • These same benchmarks determine the proper number of minority districts, which is important for demonstrating compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.

  • FDGA and Princeton Gerrymandering Project are bringing state-of-the-art redistricting analysis to Georgia for the very first time.  We will be creating these benchmarks and offering them to the legislature and the public.

  • Citizens now have the same data and powerful tools that the legislature has to assess maps for fairness.

  • These tools did not exist in 2011.  This is an innovation that Georgia should adopt.

  • Similar tools were used in expert testimony in some of the biggest court cases around redistricting in the last decade.

Why should legislators use independent benchmarks?

  • Transparency - Checking the work against independent analysis

  • Restore public trust and confidence in what has historically been a secret process

  • Demonstrate compliance with the Voting Rights Act by showing that minorities have their best chance at being represented

  • May help avoid litigation if legislators can say that their maps were independently validated

  • Fairer maps


Talking points from CHARGE media toolkit; contains some strong statements about the reason for fair districts.


  File Modified

PDF File benchmarks.pdf Good description of benchmarking

Aug 23, 2021 by Julia Leon