# Axiomatic districting

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## Abstract

We study the districting problem from an axiomatic point of view in a framework with two parties, deterministic voter preferences and geographical constraints. The axioms are normatively motivated and reflect a notion of fairness to voters. Our main result is an “impossibility” theorem demonstrating that all anonymous districting rules are necessarily complex in the sense that they either use information beyond the mere *number* of districts won by the parties, or they violate an appealing consistency requirement according to which an acceptable districting rule should induce an acceptable districting of appropriate subregions.

### Keywords

Districting Gerrymandering Normative political analysis### JEL Classifications

D72## Notes

### Acknowledgments

We are most grateful to John Duggan, an associate editor and two anonymous referees for their thorough remarks and suggestions which helped to improve the first version of this paper.

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