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Election Returns for Open Redistricting


Term:

IAP and Spring

Department:

17: Political Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

Charles Stewart III

Faculty email:

cstewart@mit.edu

Apply by:

January 3, 2021

Contact:

cstewart@mit.edu

Project Description

This UROP is part of a larger project that can be called “Open Data for Open Redistricting.” The purpose of this larger project is to facilitate widespread participation of the public—ranging from regular citizens to academic experts—in the redistricting efforts that will follow the 2020 Census. This participation rests on four component parts: (1) data about political geographies, called “shapefiles,” (2) demographic data disaggregated to the Census block level, (3) election returns disaggregated to the precinct level, and (4) software that combines the preceding three data sources and allows the drawing and analysis of districts. UROPs are needed to help assemble and wrangle precinct-level election returns from the 2020 general election into formats that are usable to academic researchers, members of the public, application developers, and others for the 2021 redistricting cycle. We anticipate working intensively during IAP to make progress on the data development early in 2021, with ongoing work into the spring and possibly the summer.

Pre-requisites

Previous experience with R, Python, or Stata required, although it could have been acquired in coursework. In fact, this experience could be ideal for someone who wants to gain practical experience using a programming language that has been acquired in class. Also, we will be holding a half-day training on the afternoon of January 5, which is mandatory.