"When districts are packed, an overwhelming majority of voters from the same party are put into one district. As most of the votes go to one party, the party that wins the district will waste many of their votes in an election that is not close."
"If a district is cracked, it means that regions are split so that one party wins a large number of districts by a narrow margin. While the voters for the losing party in those districts could elect several candidates if they were districted fairly, they typically are unable to elect any candidate, and thus waste votes."
"The efficiency gap calculates the frequency that a party ‘wastes’ votes. A wasted vote, according to the method, is a vote cast for a party that is not helpful in putting the candidate past 50 percent of the two-party share of votes. Any vote cast for a losing candidate, and any vote cast for a candidate after they receive a majority of the two-party vote share, is considered wasted by the metric. Each party’s total wasted votes for an office type (congressional, state house, or state senate) would then be summed and the difference is taken and divided by the total votes cast to create a metric that can be compared across different states and years. The original creators of the efficiency gap recommended any score above an absolute value of eight would signal partisan bias beyond variability for state legislative districts, and any value beyond 2 seats for congressional districts would signify partisan bias."
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