Divide and conquer: Using geographic manipulation to win district-based elections

Yoad Lewenberg, Omer Lev, Jeffrey S. Rosenschein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

District-based elections, in which voters vote for a district representative and those representatives ultimately choose the winner, are vulnerable to gerrymandering, i.e., manipu-lation of the outcome by changing the location and borders of districts. Many countries aim to limit blatant gerrymandering, and thus we introduce a geographically-based manipulation problem, where voters must vote at the ballot box closest to them. We show that this problem is NP-completc in the worst case. However, we present a greedy algorithm for the problem; testing it both on simulation data as well as on real- world data from the 2015 Israeli and British elections, we show that many parties are potentially able to make themselves victorious using district manipulation. Moreover, we show that the relevant variables here go beyond share of the vote; the form of geographic dispersion also plays a crucial role.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2017
EditorsEdmund Durfee, Sanmay Das, Kate Larson, Michael Winikoff
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS)
Pages624-632
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781510855076
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event16th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2017 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Duration: 8 May 201712 May 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1548-8403
ISSN (Electronic)1558-2914

Conference

Conference16th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2017
Country/TerritoryBrazil
CitySao Paulo
Period8/05/1712/05/17

Keywords

  • Districts
  • Gerrymandering
  • Voting

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