We need precise mathematical measurement of gerrymandering, to stop the partisan bickering between the self-perpetuating gerrymandered maps generated by the two parties. We already have in Pennsylvania's Constitution requirements that districts be compact and regularly shaped. We need to quantify and enforce this. I continue to propose two simple rules, but the mathematics makes my representatives go glassy-eyed, and I never get a response.

I demand that legislative districts have no more than 12 edges. A new edge is formed when the direction of the district boundary suddenly changes, without following "natural boundaries" due to larger county, municipal or state boundaries, or the boundaries of rivers, lakes or unninhabited forest and wildlife districts. This regulation helps ensure that district boundaries do not cross county, municipal or state boundaries.

I demand that the boundary of a district be limited, that the square of the perimeter may not exceed 25 times the area of the district. This rule prevents the shape of the district from being distended or lumpy, rather than compactly and regularly shaped. Even simple rectangles can be rejected with this rule, if they are too long or too wide.

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park

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