A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, declaring it unconstitutionally gerrymandered.
“Tuesday's ruling was a win for the voice of North Carolina's citizens. It recognizes that political gerrymandering can suppress the will of the people and their ability to express political desires at the ballot box,” said Jonathan Mattingly, the chair of Duke’s math department who created a single, quantitative Gerrymandering Index for North Carolina. “I was quite happy that the court found my collaborators' and my research useful in understanding the level of partisan gerrymandering in the maps drawn by the NC Legislature and identifying these maps as ‘extreme statistical outliers.’”
“We hope that the courts continue to accept and appreciate mathematical analyses. I am thankful to the League of Woman Voters and Common Cause for all of their hard work to break new legal ground and establish this ruling opposing partisan gerrymandering.”
Jonathan Mattingly is a professor of mathematics and statistical science and chair of the Department of Mathematics at Duke University. His group’s work has been cited in an Amicus brief in Will Gill v. Whitford, which was discussed in oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court. His group has also filed a report in the NC General Assembly redistricting case. His recent work includes mathematically investigating gerrymandering. (Read article: https://researchblog.duke.edu/index.php/2018/01/05/jonathan-mattingly-mathematics-and-maps-to-define-democracy/).