Princeton finds 'no credible allegations' of data manipulation from researcher who helped in NC redistricting
Princeton University redistricting expert Sam Wang was accused of manipulating New Jersey congressional data. The university says there's no credible accusations, based on an initial review.Posted — Updated
"Based on an initial review conducted after the Congressional Redistricting Commission completed its work, the university knows of no credible allegations of data manipulation pertaining to the work product delivered to the commission," Michael Hotchkiss, a Princeton spokesman, said in a statement Friday. Hotchkiss said the initial review indicates Wang didn't manipulate New Jersey congressional data.
Wang declined to comment.
Wang serves as the director of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and Princeton University’s Electoral Innovation Lab, which provides nonpartisan analyses of state voting map plans, including North Carolina’s.
Documents obtained by the Globe and reviewed by WRAL show a team led by Wang was directed in a March 1 letter from a Princeton human resources manager not to hire additional workers during the investigation. Additionally, the team couldn't “provide services to any external parties” without prior approval from Wang and another university official, the documents show.
In February, Wang was brought on as one of four research assistants to help a group of independent redistricting experts. The assistants and experts were tasked with evaluating legislative and congressional maps that the state Supreme Court had ordered lawmakers to redraw.
Bob Orr, a former state Supreme Court justice who was one of the three special masters who helped craft the congressional map, said in an interview Thursday that Wang’s involvement was with analyzing the legislature’s redrawn congressional and legislative boundaries. Orr said Wang didn’t influence the drawing of the enacted congressional map.
The Wake County Superior Court and state Supreme Court, which gave final approval to the congressional map, declined to comment on Princeton’s investigation, noting they don't weigh in on cases that could come before their courts.
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