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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 27, 2017, 08:25:48 am
Thanks for the detail. I understand exactly what you want. I am still missing how a higher BVAP map you describe gets into the set the commission sends to the legislature. The whole point of scoring is that the legislature is not free to consider all maps submitted, just those that make the commission's cut. The commission is bound by statutory rules so they can't play games with squishy CoI considerations.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where have Atlas forumers been? (collaborative map) on: May 27, 2017, 07:44:36 am
I don't know every county I've been to.

When I started tracking this I was in my 20's. I began with the counties I lived in and the ones I remember that I slept in (visiting relatives, vacations, school trips, etc.). I then added the counties where I remember we visited someone or something, but didn't sleep there. If it took a drive to get to a destination, I assumed that we took the most direct route and determine the counties we passed through.

If you do that it will be a pretty good map to start from.

I'll be down in southern IL today looking at parks in the eclipse zone. I expect to add two or three counties, and change the status of others.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 27, 2017, 07:33:33 am
Well, I have never proposed that such districts be required, but rather only to allow their drawing, even if the ensuing map has a lower score, and for a given minority percentage, the highest scoring map must be used. In all events, where there is a consensus that such a map be drawn, that is really going to slow down court intervention. Thanks for bringing this all to my attention.

I outlined the metric before. One can vote in a lower scoring map, up to a 50% minority voting age percentage, if it is the highest scoring map for that percentage, and both parties agree to it, and it gets the minority closer to their fair share of CD's for a state.

I think you are saying that Pareto equality is subservient to a map with a crossover district regardless of its need by the VRA. I don't think that flies as a law, though it clearly could as a matter of legislative choice. The problem is that this is about statute to direct a commission. Parties don't figure into this at all.

I think the commission has to say if they determine that a minority district is required by the VRA. Then it it up to the map makers to determine how they will comply, and that can include the use of a crossover district. If the commission doesn't find that the VRA requires a minority district then I think crossovers are welcome, but there is no mechanism to prefer them.

This was basically the mechanism used in the OH competition in 2011. It was known that a contorted CD could be drawn with 50% BVAP (and was by the Pubs linking Cleveland and Akron in the adopted plan). The competition allowed for a 48% BVAP based on discussions with the OH Urban League so we didn't have to actually work out crossover performance.

In the specific case of NE OH for 2020, I've laid out the number of blacks in the UCC and note that it appears that whites are leaving the area faster than blacks based on Census estimates. The black population could be hypothetically drawn into to 50% BVAP district, even more so if Akron is included. So I think that a requirement for VRA district, which could be a crossover, would likely be present in 2020.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 27, 2017, 05:35:17 am
FWIW, I don't think there is any precedent that a theoretical 50% BVAP CD, that is impossible to draw in practice, or would look ridiculous, triggers Gingles, and I don't think SCOTUS will ever go there. It is going in the opposite direction. I also think 41.5% BVAP is clearly performing. So I don't think there is any case to chop Cleveland, and in particular a macrochop.

Aren't we supposed to balance erosity against chops, so the right course would seem to be to look at both alternatives. If you are saying that there is insufficient black population to trigger Gingles then there is no need to try to draw a performing district - chops and erosity should be the only factors.

Yes, per your rules, you are absolutely correct. But in the real world, such a CD would never be drawn. That is why if I wrote the legislation, I would allow a deviation of the rules to allow drawing performing minority CD's, if both parties agree, and they would in this case, particularly if the NE corner CD is only marginal politically, which it is. If one does not allow this flexibility, I don't think your rules would ever become law, nor adopted by a court.
Doesn't your law violate the 15th Amendment?


Well that never occurred to me. A law that allows the legislature to agree to draw districts so that minorities can have adequate representation where the metrics of the state law in practice otherwise preclude that, violates the 15th amendment? Has anyone made that argument in an analogous context? I would be amazed if that argument ever got any traction.

There's a needle to thread here. The type of district at issue here is known as a crossover district - one where the minority relies on some votes from the white majority to "crossover" and vote for their candidate of choice. In Bartlett v Strickland (2009) SCOTUS ruled that the minority must constitute a numerical majority of the VAP to require a district. The case involved the NC requirement for whole counties which in one instance was chopped to create a crossover district. The ruling allows for crossover districts as a means to meet the VRA, but cautions against codification.

Quote
This holding does not consider the permissibility of crossover districts as a matter of legislative choice or discretion. Section 2 allows States to choose their own method of complying with the Voting Rights Act, which may include drawing crossover districts. See Georgia v. Ashcroft, 539 U. S. 461 . Moreover, the holding should not be interpreted to entrench majority-minority districts by statutory command, for that, too, could pose constitutional concerns. See, e.g., Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900 . Such districts are only required if all three Gingles factors are met and if ß2 applies based on the totality of the circumstances.

In 2010 after the ruling, IL Dems passed a law with the following text.
Quote
In any redistricting plan pursuant to Article IV, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution, Legislative Districts and Representative Districts shall be drawn, subject to subsection (d) of this Section, to create crossover districts, coalition districts, or influence districts. The requirements imposed by this Article are in addition and subordinate to any requirements or obligations imposed by the United States Constitution, any federal law regarding redistricting Legislative Districts or Representative Districts, including but not limited to the federal Voting Rights Act, and the Illinois Constitution.
However, though their plan had crossover districts, they never invoked this law in their narrative for the justification of those districts. The feeling among lawyers at the time was that doing so would begin to look like a race-based mechanism that could be found unconstitutional. The courts found that the plan with crossover districts was constitutional but never had to rule on the law quoted above.

The problem here is a set of rules that would be used by an independent commission reviewing and scoring maps. A plan that had crossover districts would be legal, but codifying a rule to prefer their use is tricky given the language of Bartlett. I think the best we've done so far is to define minority county clusters as a measurable community of interest akin to UCCs. I'm not sure even that would pass SCOTUS today. Cuyahoga would require a step further, defining something like a minority subunit cluster, and that seems dangerously close to the entrenched majority-minority districts Kennedy warned about in Bartlett.

What's your thought on how to write the rule for the commission?
 
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 26, 2017, 07:30:08 pm
I'll be happy to put together some scores. If you could give me the list of munis in the Cleveland CD from your initial offering that would help, since the detail is hard to read.

I assume that an independent body is scoring maps based on some set of approved rules. OH has considered adopting this type of arrangement before, so it isn't completely crazy to think this way. If those rules are the muon2 rules then the legislature can only consider maps on the Pareto frontier. If a map loses on Pareto scoring then it doesn't matter what the legislature or parties like about it.

The independent body will also be charged with enforcing federal law, including the VRA. To that end do we or do we not assume that the VRA requires a performing district in NE OH based on Gingles? An independent body will not be able to require a performing CD in a non-Gingles situation absent a law to that effect.

It is probably safe to assume that a map with a CD that can elect a candidate for the black minority will be a plus. But if it is not required by the VRA or other law, then that advantage only comes into play if a map gets to the Pareto frontier and thus to the decision makers (eg the legislature).
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 26, 2017, 05:56:56 pm
Here is what I had in mind. The orange CD is 43% BVAP according to the 2015 ACS 5-year estimates. The other two CDs are both competitive. It preserves the UCC pack, but sacrifices a cover point. The chop of Geauga for the Akron CD is shifted to Cuyahoga. The rest of NE OH is in the Youngstown CD which needs no county chop. Even with the chop of Cleveland I think judges might find this arrangement quite attractive.



7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 26, 2017, 01:14:35 pm
FWIW, I don't think there is any precedent that a theoretical 50% BVAP CD, that is impossible to draw in practice, or would look ridiculous, triggers Gingles, and I don't think SCOTUS will ever go there. It is going in the opposite direction. I also think 41.5% BVAP is clearly performing. So I don't think there is any case to chop Cleveland, and in particular a macrochop.

Aren't we supposed to balance erosity against chops, so the right course would seem to be to look at both alternatives. If you are saying that there is insufficient black population to trigger Gingles then there is no need to try to draw a performing district - chops and erosity should be the only factors.

Yes, per your rules, you are absolutely correct. But in the real world, such a CD would never be drawn. That is why if I wrote the legislation, I would allow a deviation of the rules to allow drawing performing minority CD's, if both parties agree, and they would in this case, particularly if the NE corner CD is only marginal politically, which it is. If one does not allow this flexibility, I don't think your rules would ever become law, nor adopted by a court.

The flexibility is built in through the Pareto test. If one has to draw bizarre districts to get a minority CD where not required by the VRA then that may not fly with the courts either. And the Cuyahoga wrap-around CD approaches districts found to be bizarrely-shaped in cases from other states. Only if it survives Pareto on chops and equality could I make a case that it is not entirely influenced by race.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 26, 2017, 11:42:12 am
FWIW, I don't think there is any precedent that a theoretical 50% BVAP CD, that is impossible to draw in practice, or would look ridiculous, triggers Gingles, and I don't think SCOTUS will ever go there. It is going in the opposite direction. I also think 41.5% BVAP is clearly performing. So I don't think there is any case to chop Cleveland, and in particular a macrochop.

Aren't we supposed to balance erosity against chops, so the right course would seem to be to look at both alternatives. If you are saying that there is insufficient black population to trigger Gingles then there is no need to try to draw a performing district - chops and erosity should be the only factors. If it is about performance one needs to look at the fraction of the Dem primary electorate that is black. In a heavily Dem city like Cleveland there are lots of white Dems and that can pose a problem for the minority. That happens in Chicago and I would imagine it applies to Cleveland, too.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 26, 2017, 08:23:43 am
Based on the 2015 ACS 5-year estimates the Cleveland UCC counties have the following black (alone) populations:
Cuyahoga 375.0K
Lake 8.5K
Lorain 25.4K
Medina 2.5K

The target CD in 2020 is 778K by my projections, so Cuyahoga alone does not trigger a VRA district. However, the UCC as a whole does have a black population that exceeds 50% of a CD, so perhaps one can make the case that one is required. Let's assume that one is required, then the first question becomes what is the BVAP level for the CD to elect the black candidate of choice? The black population is segregated on the east side of Cleveland, so the mapping question becomes it is worth a chop of Cleveland to greatly reduce the erosity?

For example the Cleveland and Akron UCCs minus Lorain can be made into 3 CDs within 0.5% tolerance. Lake and the east side of Cleveland/Cuyahoga would be in the UCC and have a 46% BVAP. Medina and the west side of Cleveland/Cuyahoga would also be in the UCC so there would be no pack penalty. The chop in Geauga would move to Cuyahoga and there would be a cover penalty for the Cleveland UCC. The net result would be an extra chop for Cleveland but a lower erosity with a more clearly performing VRA CD.

If I get time later I'll transfer my spreadsheet to a map.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio - a celebration of the Muon2 rules on: May 25, 2017, 06:06:54 pm
I see you have a pack penalty for both Cincinnati and Cleveland. I guess I should look to see if I have to increase chops beyond your 6 to get that number down.
11  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Question about state legislative terms on: May 25, 2017, 10:23:06 am
In IL the legislative session matches the two-year term of House members. Effectively the main session runs from the second Wed in Jan until the end of May. That's because from June 1 one any bill effective before June 1 of the following year requires a 3/5 vote in each chamber. There's also a two week fall session scheduled to take up any vetoes issued by the Gov during the summer, though the veto session is not only for vetoes and functions like any other session day scheduled after May 31 as far as other business is concerned.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Census population estimates 2011-2019 on: May 25, 2017, 10:02:00 am
After growing by 23K in the first 3 years of the decade Chicago has joined the rest of IL with population losses, falling by 14K since 2013, 8K just in last estimate year (7/1/15 - 7/1/16).
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ranked-choice voting conflicts with Maine Constitution, Supreme Court says on: May 24, 2017, 02:36:27 am
RCV isn't a terrible idea but we should start by transitioning every state to Top Two jungle rules first and going from there

No thanks.  I don't believe a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat in the general election with no write-in opportunities is a real choice.  I'd rather not vote than vote for almost all Democrats.  And I suppose many Democrats living in Republican-dominated states would agree with me.

Fair, but I don't think closed, insider/activist-dominated primaries give great choices either. As an NYer I'm sure you know better than I what machine politics leads to

At the very least Top Two should be used for every major American city. There are too many elections that essentially end when someone wins the Democratic primary and there are a number of these cities (Chicago, Baltimore, Philly) were Top Two could give the Democratic establishment there a much needed shake up.

Chicago switched to a top two system in the 1990's for mayor and city council. The candidates in the primary run without party affiliation, though most are Dems and the affilations are well known from general election primary votes. If no candidate gets more than 50% in the primary then the top two face off in the municipal general election (April in the year before a presidential election). 2015 was the first time the runoff was needed for Mayor, and the turnout was larger in the runoff than in the primary.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where have Atlas forumers been? (collaborative map) on: May 23, 2017, 12:52:22 pm
Yeah, I don't get the color scheme at all. Are the 4 levels travel, stop, stay over night, and live, and a county only gets darker when a poster has had a higher level of nexus to the county than the existing color on the map?
that's what I'm gonna assume the 4 tiers mean. think the darker shades mean multiple Atlas members.

It seems to me to be a level of nexus issue. For example, I have lived in LA County, Cook County, Washtenaw County, MI, Orange County, CA, and Columbia County, NY. I assume I would color all those counties the darkest color since I have lived in those counties. The number of posters at a given level of nexus would not be relevant. The generator of the OP can explain further if I have it wrong.

I don't want to speak for the OP, but here's the way I interpreted it. There is a 2x4 matrix of choices. Each row corresponds to a different status level, such as lived in, or traveled through. The columns represent whether there was a single response or multiple responses at that status level. One member at a higher status level takes precedence over multiple members at a lower status level. Then again, I could have it all wrong.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where have Atlas forumers been? (collaborative map) on: May 23, 2017, 04:59:36 am
I like the idea. Since I have over 1600 counties (and will have over 1700 by the end of summer), it probably is easier if I add mine later since fewer counties will need editing. One thing I wasn't clear on is the color scheme. If a county is colored by one person as stopped at - the yellow color, and the editor also only traveled through it, I should leave it alone. If the editor has also stopped there it be darkened one shade to brown. Right? If two people have already stopped there does it just stay that way until some one has either visited or lived there?

BTW this is my current map. I use slightly different colors and I don't distinguish between drove through and stopped for routine things like gas and food, but I do distinguish between whether or not I slept there.

16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone V: Born Under A Bad Sign on: May 21, 2017, 04:33:26 pm
I just booked a hotel room in Nebraska to watch the total solar eclipse in three months.

Excellent. Which part of the state? I know that Scottsbluff is popular with eclipse chasers. I'll be going through there a week before the eclipse on my way to ID.


I would, except I already live in St. Louis! Probably never going to see a total solar eclipse from my backyard ever again.

You should get just over a minute of totality from your house. Since the probability of a total eclipse at any one spot is once every 375 years, your assumption is a good one.


I'm just hoping for good weather in Nashville that day.  If it's bad, I guess I can always head up to Kentucky in 2024!

If its not overcast throughout the area and you have mobility, I-24 west and I-40 east both offer routes that stay in the path of totality.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone V: Born Under A Bad Sign on: May 21, 2017, 04:30:03 pm
I just booked a hotel room in Nebraska to watch the total solar eclipse in three months.

Excellent. Which part of the state? I know that Scottsbluff is popular with eclipse chasers. I'll be going through there a week before the eclipse on my way to ID.

We had been hoping to watch from the sand hills, but I was booking late and could not find a vacant room in any of the sites that we had scoped out west of Lincoln. So Lincoln it is. It looks as if our odds of catching good conditions are favorable in that vicinity, maybe near Beatrice, and we will wake up early enough to drive a few more hours if we must in any case.

Lincoln will get totality for only about a minute. If there are clouds forecast there and south to Beatrice, the roads heading west from Lincoln are good. I-80 goes to Grand Island (about 85 mi) which is right near the center line and will get two and a half minutes of totality.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: word association game on: May 21, 2017, 12:59:06 pm
Paper
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone V: Born Under A Bad Sign on: May 21, 2017, 06:44:45 am
I just booked a hotel room in Nebraska to watch the total solar eclipse in three months.

Excellent. Which part of the state? I know that Scottsbluff is popular with eclipse chasers. I'll be going through there a week before the eclipse on my way to ID.


I would, except I already live in St. Louis! Probably never going to see a total solar eclipse from my backyard ever again.

You should get just over a minute of totality from your house. Since the probability of a total eclipse at any one spot is once every 375 years, your assumption is a good one.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Card Shuffling on: May 18, 2017, 10:35:06 pm
I prefer a riffle shuffle with a Scarne cut.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: States Where Upper and Lower Legislative Chambers Behave Very Differently on: May 17, 2017, 08:04:13 am
One interesting difference in IL is the behavior on bills that increase fees for state services or authorize local governments to do the same, even in the smallest amounts. The IL Senate typically votes unanimously if the bill is agreed by the leadership of the two parties. In the IL House there will be lots of "no" votes on both sides. Those are mostly the "targets", members in their first term or from marginal seats. There's a historic use of these votes as support for taxes in campaign flyers in House races but not Senate races, hence the difference in voting behavior.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Combine Single Member Districts with Proportional Representation. on: May 16, 2017, 04:11:42 pm
Ya, not happening. You pick candidates not parties in this country, and I for one would abhor any system giving even more power to the state/national parties at the expense of individuals looking to run for office.

I agree with compactness though. The notion that redistricting isn't handled by a computer working with a known formula nationally always confused me.

The problem of redistricting is one of a class of computations known to have no direct solution for a large number of elements (eg census blocks) in a reasonable time (that is not exponentially long). Any algorithm could at best get close to what the formula is supposed to achieve, but in practice someone would probably challenge the computer output with one they said did better at the map. However, a computer could easily judge among competing plans and picked the one that best met neutral criteria. That is possible given this type of computing problem.

Of course gerrymandering is handled by a computer that has an algorithm to optimize results for a party, they just can't guarantee the absolute safest map for the party given the computational limits I described.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: what'd you get your moms? on: May 16, 2017, 08:42:20 am
My mom turns 80 tomorrow so her three sons all went to spend Mothers Day weekend with her. Besides a number of group activities I got her a framed copy of her birth certificate. Some years ago when she applied to renew her passport she found that the digitized version of her birth certificate on file at Cook county had totally mangled her mother's maiden name. I found someone in the county clerk's office who was willing to look up the original handwritten form, make the corrections and send me an official certificate. She does a lot of genealogy research on the family and I knew having the right official records would matter to her.
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Challenge for map makers: white liberal districts on: May 16, 2017, 08:26:40 am
I'm trying to imagine a Provincetown-to-Williamstown district in Massachusetts that doesn't use water connectivity and also leaves population equal to whole districts on either side.

No need to go all the way to Provincetown. There are too many conservative areas in between.

This district is 83.1% white, 72.2% Obama:



I can't be certain about the eastern end, but it looks like you have put my daughter and her grandparents in the same CD. Cheesy
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Post maps of where you've been on: May 15, 2017, 09:12:13 pm
I finally got an account at mob-rule so you can see the muon2 map there. Entering the data forced me to check my spreadsheets. In doing so, I found that only one of my SD counties were showing up in my grand total, so rather than having 1613 counties I actually have 1628.
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