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51  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Which Texas Statewide offices go to runoffs? on: March 04, 2014, 09:38:08 pm
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: EG's State Senate Thread on: March 03, 2014, 10:12:07 am
Hawaii:


 

The Hawaii constitution requires apportionment of senators and representatives among the 4 island groups.  Canoe districts are not legal.

I see... I suppose I could fix it, but I would have some big deviations. Doesn't really change anything politically. Pretty much what I would do is:

1. 1st district entirely on Kauai
2. 20th district take over the two little islands  in Maui County
3. 23rd and 25th districts (both to minimize deviation) take over leftover 22nd district area in Hawaii County.
This was recently approved by the 9th Circuit, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.  The deviation caused by the whole island group apportionment was somewhat of a secondary issue.   The main issue was Hawaii basing its legislative apportionment on permanent residents, excluding military personnel and their dependents who are not from Hawaii (for tax purposes), as well as out-of-state students.

Before 2000, Hawaii had what were referred to as canoe districts, as those drawing the lines had decided like you, that the Supreme Court would never accept an alternative basis to census population, as well as such large deviation.

In 2000, adjustments for the military were made, but it appears that this was done in order to reduce the amount of deviation.  Almost all the military are on Oahu, and the change would make enough difference to make the apportionment for the neighbor islands more acceptable.

In 2010, initially only a small adjustment was made, excluding military personnel living in barracks.  This was challenged, and the Hawaii Supreme Court overturned it as a violation of the state constitution.  The reapportionment commission then did a more extensive adjustment, which was based on military pay records, which record where state taxes are paid, as well as state of enlistment, and also have number of dependents.  Hawaii then adjusted the census block populations.  Just over 100,000 were whacked from the apportionment data (quite large compared to the 1.3 million total).

The primary effect was to give a 4rd whole senate seat to the island of Hawaii, at the expense of Oahu, as well as changes to the Oahu districts since the military population is concentrated in the western part of the island around Pearl Harbor.

While Kauai has an oversized senate district, it has 3 undersized house districts.

The takeaway may be that community of interest may override simplistic notions of population equality, at least in Hawaii where the islands are separated by 100s of miles of international water, and are not contiguous even in a legal sense. 
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: EG's State Senate Thread on: March 02, 2014, 11:10:45 pm
Hawaii:


 

The Hawaii constitution requires apportionment of senators and representatives among the 4 island groups.  Canoe districts are not legal.
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Politics aside- would you rather live in a blue state or a red state? on: March 01, 2014, 05:15:10 pm

Blue state -


Red states have McDonald's too, if that is your choice of fare,
55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Politics aside- would you rather live in a blue state or a red state? on: March 01, 2014, 05:12:41 pm
Red state -

After you get to Claude and take a picture of the traffic light


Keep heading south another five miles:



56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: March 01, 2014, 04:14:32 pm
3,647,373 share my first name, 52.9% R, 85th percentile.  A majority have each of the three social characteristics, which I have none of.

23,410 have my middle name first, 47% R, 53rd percentile, better educated, less religious and less armed.

17,911 have my last name first, 50.8% R, which may reflect the ambiguous gender of the name (it was 67th most common girl name, and 107th most common boy name in the 2000s).  It is the most religious name.

680 persons have my elddim eman delleps sdrawkcab, they are very Democratic, 64.2%, well educated 61.3%, and irreligious 33.3%.

673 persons have my first name spelled backwards, they are extremely Democratic, 84.2% (99th percentile), less educated 44.4%, not particularly religious, 37.8% nor armed 46.8%.

All formed of my names with the first or last letter truncated are in the data base,

Firs 1201
irst 486
Middl 407
iddle 25
Las 33
ast 146

as well of 5 of the 6 forms with the two letters truncated (only the first name with the first two letters chopped is missing).

Fir 398
rst (less than 10)
Midd 138
ddle 6122
La 15
st 156

All forms with the first and last are missing, though the middle 3 letters of my middle and last name are the same.

irs 598
iddl (and as) 38

All forms with the first or last two letters are represented. 

Fi 1391, st (and le) 17, Mi 6017, La 432, st 50.
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 28, 2014, 05:12:39 pm
I am amused to find that there are actually 132 registered voters in their database named Muon. I might ascribe that to parents who are scientists, but only 50.2% have a college degree which doesn't fit the pattern of the children of parents with advanced education. Is the name used in some foreign language? Huh

Greek?

I found a Chamnan Muon, who in his blog says he is Muon Chamnan.

Nguyen Muon Thi is (was?) a woman soccer player for the Vietnamese women national team.

Muon Srey, originally from Cambodia died in Faribault, Muonesota in 2012.

Pol Pot's 2nd wife was named Muon.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 28, 2014, 04:31:46 pm
With numbers like that, I feel like Douglas (90th most common, 57.3% R) is probably the most Republican name in the top 100, no?
Yes.  Using the Census Bureau's 1990 list of popular male and female names, and going down to 70 male and 80 female, and then using the SSA list of popular names from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s I compiled a list of the top 100 names: 49 male, 51 female, though 9 of the top 10 are male.  Most male names are very traditional, while female names tend to be much more fashionable, going in and out of favor.  But because so many boys have traditional names, common names are more frequent among girls.

Based on the 1990 data, the 10th most common female name would be 21st if male, the 20th female would be 35th male, but the 50th female would be 46th male, and the 100th female would be 89th male.

Most Republican Top 10 is Thomas (9th) 54.1% (possible aversion to Blacks having a Tom in the family?).  Among the top 10 names, Joseph is the only Democratic name at 49.6%.  This probably indicates a greater frequency among Catholics, including Hispanics, who were christened in the local language.

Top 20 Republican is Mark (20th) 54.7%.

Republican over 55%:

Donald (26th) 55.1%
Jeffrey (36th) 55.3%
Gary (47th) 55.9% (Gary, Larry, Barry, etc. were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and atypical for a male name to come and go in frequency.  I suspect that the -y ending gave a sense of a diminutive, perhaps suitable for a boy, but not a man.  The Republican-ness may reflect an aging population.  Among the top 10 male names other than Joseph, Michael is the least Republican at 51.4%, reflecting its more recent heightened popularity.
Scott (54th) 57.2%
Douglas (90th) 57.3%

Perhaps Donald, Scott, and Douglas represent a Scotch, Scotch-Irish influence not transmitted to the Black or later ethnic communities?

Top 100 male names that are Democratic:

Joseph (10th) 49.6%
Anthony (35th) 42.6%
George (38th) 49.8%
Jose (44th) 26.5%
Edward (47th) 48.7%
Eric (58th) 47.6%
Frank (76th) 48.8%
Peter (85th) 49.3%
Jonathan (86th) 49.1%
Raymond (91st) 48.8%
Nicholas (96th) 49.6%

The only top 100 female name that is Republican is Julie (80th) and 51.1%.

Over 49% Republican are:

Susan (21st, 8th Female) 49.7%
Donna (46th) 49.6%
Carol (50th) 49.5%
Rebecca (62nd) 49.1%
Janet (83rd) 49.3%
Heather (78th) 49.3%

So are some named after presidential daughters Julie Nixon and Susan Ford?  Doro(thy) Bush was 29 by the time her father was president, though her 2nd wedding took place at Camp David, and Barbara and Jenna were entering college when their father was being elected.  Carolina and Chelsea are somewhat Democratic than average, but that might be entirely due to their being female names.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 28, 2014, 07:45:33 am
No Dweezil's.  Does that mean that Mr.Zappa is not registered?
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 28, 2014, 07:32:48 am
The most Republican name I can find is Tagg at 69.6%, the most Democratic name I found is Shaniqua at 89.2%.
Most Republican common name (1343rd) that I can find is Boyd.

59.2% R.
53.6% have a gun.
61.4% attend church weekly.
38.7% chew tobacco.
78.2% say NASCAR is their favorite sport.

Gordon (409th) is 56.5% Republican

Jack (148th) is 55.6% Republican

Randall (275th) is 59.5% R

Hunter is 59.5% R, but only 48.2% have guns.

Pacific is 54.8% D. but 52.7% have guns.

Donald (26th) is 55.1% R

Peeter is 64.1% R.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 27, 2014, 11:09:32 pm
The most Republican name I can find is Tagg at 69.6%, the most Democratic name I found is Shaniqua at 89.2%.
Most Republican common name (1343rd) that I can find is Boyd.

59.2% R.
53.6% have a gun.
61.4% attend church weekly.
38.7% chew tobacco.
78.2% say NASCAR is their favorite sport.

Gordon (409th) is 56.5% Republican

Jack (148th) is 55.6% Republican
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 27, 2014, 10:57:18 pm
56.8% of Demon's, and 85.3% of Rat's are Demonrats.

91.5% of Dope's are Democrats.
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 27, 2014, 10:28:54 pm
The most Republican name I can find is Tagg at 69.6%, the most Democratic name I found is Shaniqua at 89.2%.
Most Republican common name (1343rd) that I can find is Boyd.

59.2% R.
53.6% have a gun.
61.4% attend church weekly.
38.7% chew tobacco.
78.2% say NASCAR is their favorite sport.

Gordon (409th) is 56.5% Republican
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 27, 2014, 09:10:15 pm
75% of those named Hitler are registered Republican, while 75% of those named Gandhi or Jesus are registered Democrats.
Actually Hitler is 71% Democrat, Demon is 85% Democrat.

65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How Democratic is your name? on: February 27, 2014, 08:55:29 pm
The most Republican name I can find is Tagg at 69.6%, the most Democratic name I found is Shaniqua at 89.2%.
Conventional names tend to be more Republican.

That's why

Sheniqua 90.2%
Shaniqwa 89.8%
and
Shanniqua 89.8%

Are more Democratic than

Shaniqua 89.2%


66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: If the West Coast states (minus AK) became independent... on: February 25, 2014, 11:55:14 pm
There's even a ready-made capitol building:



Meh.

Neoclassical architecture with a massive dome is so 19th century.
Give them Nevada as well. 
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Instances of "locally complete" nesting in states with non-integer H/A:S ratios on: February 17, 2014, 08:47:27 pm
El Paso is growing faster than the country, but slower than the the state.  In 2010, the senate district was extend outward by a few counties, and by 2020 will probably reach Del Rio.  Meanwhile the San Antonio-based 23rd was stretched further into El Paso which probably contributed to the election of Pete Gallego of Alpine, defeating San Antonio candidates in both the primary and general election.

Yet El Paso County still has five whole House districts.  They were all within 5% of the ideal House district population as of 2010 (but all over 4% on the small side), and the Senate district is only +0.68% (it would have been -1.29% without the four small counties next the east) but it seems odd to me for a single-member upper house district in a state with less than an n:1 lower house member:upper house member ratio to consist of all the territory of n lower house districts plus some more territory.

Does Texas's "county line rule" (the prevailing interpretation of the juxtaposition of requirements in the Texas constitution with the federal "one person, one vote" requirements, last I knew) prevent a county that can have a certain number of whole House districts but they would average less than the ideal (like El Paso County), does it prevent it from having territory outside the county added to that last House district to make the numbers closer?

Also, does the "county line rule" apply to the Senate districts at all?  I see at least three partial districts in Dallas County, so I'm thinking no, but that could have been required by some other situation such as VRA requirements.
Yes, the current harmonization of the Texas and US Constitution is that you may not add additional territory outside of El Paso, even though it would make for greater population equality.  The current apportionment of five representatives is "good enough" without violating the Texas constitution.  "Greater" equality is not preferred if it means violating or even stretching the Texas constitution.

The Texas Constitution provides for 3 types of house districts:

(1) Multi-county single member districts.
(2) Single-County multi-member districts, including single-county single-member districts.
(3) Single member districts apportioned to several counties, based on either the whole county population and the surplus population from one or more type (2) counties.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that type (2) counties may be subdivided into single subdistricts for purposes of electing representatives, and the US Constitution (equal protection of racial minorities) mandates it.  When Texas first started doing this, they often would designate these districts with a number and a letter suffix (57A, 57B, ... 57K).

Type (3) districts are constitutional for apportionment purpose, but not electoral purposes.  If the pre-OMOV interpretation  were used, El Paso would elect 4 representatives at large, and then El Paso plus a few small counties would elect a 5th representative.  But even though the small counties were providing about 1/4 of the population to apportion the 5th representative, they would have only 4 or 5% of the electorate.

So the Texas Supreme Court has said that you can create a district using an area of the larger county containing the surplus population along with smaller counties.   So you could conceivably have a district with El Paso's surplus population beyond 4 districts plus the smaller counties.  But the Texas Supreme Court has said that this may only be done if necessary to comply with equal protection (OMOV). 

So in practice there are three types of districts.

(1) Multi-county single member districts.
(2) Single member districts wholly within a county.
(3) Single member districts containing areas with surpluses from one or more large counties, plus all of zero or more small counties.

Type 3 districts don't precisely conform with the Texas Constitution, but are consistent with the underlying principle.

Henderson County is split under the current plan.  The triggering cause is that Ellis County has not enough population for its own district, but too much population to be paired with a neighbor - and the belief that it can not be combined with Dallas or Tarrant counties.  Since these counties are large enough that you can always create whole districts within 5% deviation, there is a belief that they can not have a partial district.

I think this is wrong.  Dallas could have 14 whole districts, plus a small portion attached to Ellis County.  This would preserve equal protection, and not completely ignore the Texas Constitution.

This would create a hierarchy for comparing possible plans.

(1) Fewest split small counties.   Zero is ideal.
(2) Fewest Type 3 districts with partial surpluses.  Consider a county with a surplus of 100,000.  It might be possible to take an area with 40,000 and use it as part of a Type 3 district, and another area with 60,000 and use it as part of another Type 3 district.  That is the surplus would be split.  Zero is ideal, and so could only be used to avoid use of (1).
(3) Fewest Type 3 districts.   This gives a preference to using surpluses from multiple counties in a single district (eg Cameron+Hidalgo in current plan; vs the surplus in Cameron in one district; and the surplus in Hidalgo in another district.

The Texas Constitution used to provide that no county could be split to create a senate district.

Quote from:  Texas Constitution Article III, Section 25(pre-2001)
Sec. 25. The State shall be divided into Senatorial Districts of contiguous territory, according to the number of qualified electors, as nearly as may be, and each district shall be entitled to elect one Senator; and no single county shall be entitled to more than one Senator.

This went by the wayside after the OMOV decisions.  The constitution also provided that senate districts be apportioned on the basis of "qualified electors", which provided a somewhat different basis for the population base of the two houses.  Reapportionment guidance was that "qualified electors" could be used if the legislature could find a basis for measuring it - since the census did not.

The 59th legislature (1965) split Harris, Dallas, Bexar, and Tarrant counties, but did it in a way similar to how pseudo-floterial districts are done for the House.  Harris had 4 districts, plus a portion of a 5th;  Dallas had 3 districts, plus part of a 4th; Bexar had 2 districts, plus part of a 3rd; and Tarrant had one whole district plus part of a 2nd.  In addition Cameron was split, with a portion attached to Hidalgo, and the rest going northward to Nueces.  There might not have been a convenient way to put Cameron, Hidalgo, and Nueces in two districts, and if you put them into three, it could get ugly.

Confining districts to within the larger counties, maintains as many districts as possible for the other counties - and would give senators from those areas a shot at keeping their seats.  So they may have been preserving the sense of the constitution, or the senators may have been preserving their own opportunities.

For the 14 whole county districts, the redistricting law simply lists the counties that comprise the district.  The partial county districts are described by metes and bounds, while the mixed districts combine a list of counties, plus a split county (ie "District 9 is composed of Collin, Cooke, Denton, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, and Rockwall Counties and that part of Dallas County not included in Districts 8, 16 and 23.")

This pattern was followed pretty much in 1972.  In 1982, some of the splits shifted outward into suburban counties.   Traditionally, each house reapportions itself, and with only 31 districts, districts can be somewhat preserved between redistricting.  Since all senators are elected after redistricting, there is an added incentive to preserve existing districts.  It is more convenient (easier to get a bill passed) to add parts of high growth counties to several districts.

In the 1992-1994-1996-1998 redistricting the splitting of counties went wholesale.  District 25 included 8 whole counties, and parts of 9 other counties.

The 2002 redistricting was done by the Republican-dominated Legislative Redistricting Board and cleaned up many of the county splits, but added some if it were convenient to dislodge a Democrat.

The 2012 redistricting was passed on a 29-2 vote, so there are some county splits that reflect wishes of individual senators.  There is no reason to split Taylor (Abilene) as the western districts expand to the east.  But Taylor was part of a District 24 before, and so you end up with a split, and District 28 wrapping around it.

The senate redistricting provisions in the constitution were edited in 2001, as part of an amendment to "eliminate obsolete, archaic, redundant, and unnecessary provisions and to clarify, update, and harmonize certain provisions of the Texas Constitution."  If you read the text of the amendment (HJR 75 (77th RS)), you will see that Texas does not limit constitutional amendments to single subjects.

Quote from:  Texas Constitution Article III, Section 25(2001 amendment)
Sec. 25. The State shall be divided into Senatorial Districts of contiguous territory, according to the number of qualified electors, as nearly as may be, and each district shall be entitled to elect one Senator; and no single county shall be entitled to more than one Senator.

Quote from:  Texas Constitution Article III, Section 25(post-2001, current)
Sec. 25. The State shall be divided into Senatorial Districts of contiguous territory, and each district shall be entitled to elect one Senator.

Notice that there is no longer a population equality standard, or even that redistricting be based on population at all in the Texas Constitution - it is implicitly based entirely on the US Constitution (equal protection).

While they could have stopped with the senate district at the El Paso county line, it doesn't make sense from a community of interest point of view.   It is 550 miles from San Antonio to El Paso.  The other district is based in San Antonio, but there may have been enough (concentration of) population in El Paso to justify a district office.  IIRC, the district lost 60,000 persons from El Paso County, and about 40,000 from the smaller counties.  It is unlikely that there would have been an office for the trans-Pecos, and the counties have a much greater affinity with El Paso than distant San Antonio.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Instances of "locally complete" nesting in states with non-integer H/A:S ratios on: February 13, 2014, 01:00:46 am
In 2000, El Paso County (TX) had less than 5/150 of the population, but it was close enough to require 5 districts.  Meanwhile, it had more than 1/31 of the population, but close enough that it could have been a single senate district.  Nonetheless it was split, with a district stretching from San Antonio, similar to TX-23 (the previous decade's district stretched from Lubbock, looping east of Midland-Odessa through San Angelo).  Midland-Odessa was in a district with Amarillo, like it still is.

One of the judges in the redistricting case (the same judges considered both legislative and congressional redistricting) said that he thought El Paso should have been a single senate district.  Most redistricting decisions are subjective and political, particularly when it comes to intent.  So plaintiffs enter all kinds of facts as evidence, and judges can include them in their opinion so as to justify their "reasoning".

El Paso is growing faster than the country, but slower than the the state.  In 2010, the senate district was extend outward by a few counties, and by 2020 will probably reach Del Rio.  Meanwhile the San Antonio-based 23rd was stretched further into El Paso which probably contributed to the election of Pete Gallego of Alpine, defeating San Antonio candidates in both the primary and general election.
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The death of the rural Texas Democrat, as told by party primary participation on: February 13, 2014, 12:43:36 am
What does it mean that there was "no Republican primary"? That there was no way for people in those counties to vote for e.g. Rick Perry in the primary? Surely not. Is it local offices?
Prior to adoption of the Australian ballot (government-printed ballots) at the end of the 19th Century, elections were by write-in.  In a very small community, you can just let every voter write the name of the person who they wish to be the local officials.  There would be a consensus on who the ablest persons in the community were.  But on a large scale, say for the legislature or congress, you would need a campaign to encourage people to write in particular names.  There were court decisions that ruled that "printing the name of a candidate" on the ballot, included mechanically printed ballots.  Parties began distributing printed ballots, which a voter might edit.  Newspapers might also print sample ballots, but they would reflect the editor's biases, leaving off candidates.

Parties would stuff the ballot box, by folding ballots within each other.  Or they might print a color on their ballot (this was part of the origin of associating colors with parties Colorados y Azules).  There might a free lunch for someone who accepted a party ballot, and voters might keep their ballot close to their vest, so that others would not know who they voted for.  Voting was normally conducted where all could watch the voter deposit their ballot in the ballot box.  A party might try to disrupt distribution of ballots by other parties, or print fake ballots (eg a ballot with Obama for president, but with Republicans for other offices, or perhaps leaving off an office or candidate or two.

The Australian ballot was intended to eliminate these problems.  But you then have to decide which candidates were on the ballot.  The political parties wanted to ward off challengers.  They couldn't disrupt distribution of opposition ballots, but they could require that candidates be nominated by parties, and then make it harder for other parties to qualify for the ballot.  Party bosses could then choose who was elected.

The party primary was intended to permit voters to choose the candidates.  It an odd combination of public and private, which might not even be considered constitutional if instituted today.   Political parties are private, and elections are public.  Combining the two entangles government and parties, which is not necessarily unwanted by the major parties since it lets them appear to be quasi-government agencies.

General elections in Texas for county, state, and federal offices are conducted by the counties, while cities and school districts conduct their own elections.  Historically, the state canvass was simply to totalize the votes from the 254 counties.  The role of the Secretary of State was simply to notify the county election officials of statewide candidates so that they could be placed on ballots prepared by the county clerk.

Party primaries follow the same pattern.  County and single-county district candidates file with the county chair (independent candidates file with county clerk), while statewide and multi-county district candidates file with the state chair (independent candidates file with the secretary of state).  For the primary, the state chair notifies the county chairs of the statewide candidates.  The county chairs conduct the election in their counties, send their vote tallies to state chair who totals the votes, and determines whether any runoffs will be needed and sends that information back to the county chairs in case there is a runoff.  The runoff primary is conducted only in areas with contested nominations.  If there are no statewide runoffs, then the runoff primary happens in only a few counties.  Sometimes, there will be a statewide runoff for a relatively minor office (Railroad Commission (RRC), ag commissioner, Supreme Court justice) and there will be massive consolidation of election precincts.  In 2008, the Democrats had a runoff for for RRC.   In Harris County, there were 9,000 voters, compared to over 400,000 in the primary (which included the presidential primary).

After the nominees are determined, the state chair informs the secretary of state, who sends that information to county clerks for the general election.

In the past, the secretary of state received party filings, but only in a custodial role (ie they put them in a filing cabinet).  This year under a new law passed in 2013, the state and county chairs sends the names of the candidates for nomination to the secretary of state who posts them on the SOS web site 2014 March Primary Election Candidate Filings by County.  See disclaimer.

After the SOS posts the information, the state chairs are supposed to inform the county chairs to get the list of their party's candidates from the SOS web site.

When elections used paper ballots, it was relatively simple for the parties to conduct a primary.  The ballots were likely printed by the same printer or newspaper that printed the general election ballots, and the precinct election clerks were likely the same persons.  When Texas was a one-party state, the Democratic primary was in effect a non-partisan election.  If you wanted to run for local office (or vote for local officials) it had to be in the Democratic primary.  In non-presidential years, the Democratic primary typically had 2 or 3 times the turnout of the general election.

The Republicans rarely conducted primaries.  When they did in 1926, they had 15,000 voters compared to 821,000 Democrats.  In 2010 and 2012, the Democratic primary had 680,000 and 590,000 voters.  The precinct conventions are conducted immediately after the polls close and votes are tallied on election night.  At one time, the primaries and conventions had to be in different buildings.  They can now be in the same building, if there is no way to communicate between the rooms, and they have separate entrances.

When the Democrats were trying to avoid letting Blacks vote in their primary, they emphasized the private nature of the primary.  The ban was first in statute; then a decision by the state executive committee, and then the state convention.  Finally, they attempted to hold a preliminary private (Jaybird) primary.   Repeatedly, the Supreme Court determined that the primary was part of the election, and that the 15th Amendment applied.

The parties originally had to fund their own primaries.  This led them to charge extremely high filing fees for offices where the filing fee was not set by statute.  It could be several times cheaper to run for statewide office rather than for a county office.  After the Supreme Court ruled against this practice, the State began funding primary elections.

As elections began switching to more elaborate voting apparatus, the parties would rent equipment from the counties.  In Bexar County in 2008, the treasurer of the Democratic Party embezzled the funds that the State had paid for the primary, rather than passing it along to Bexar County, so now the law provides that the parties be given vouchers, and the money can avoid sticky fingers in flowing from the state to the county.

Early voting is conducted by the counties.  Part of this is because it is complicated to keep polling places available for two weeks; and making sure voters don't vote multiple times.  Early voting was first implemented for general elections, and when they were trying to figure out a way to bring it to the primary, they determined it was easier to have the counties conduct that to.  When you early vote, you select a party, and are then directed to a machine for that party.

Texas does not have party registration, and there is no sort of loyalty oath associated with voting in a primary.  In any given election year, you are restricted to participating in only one party's nominating activities (the primary, the primary runoff, conventions, and signing petitions).  There are no other partisan elections, so the slate is in effect wiped clean.

And about 40% of counties have joint primaries, where the parties have agreed to have the counties conduct the primary on election day as well as for early voting.  Harris County does not have a joint primary.  For my precinct, the Democratic and Republican polling places are in the same building, but they cover different sets of election precincts.

But even early voting and joint primaries require a county chair to receive candidate filings, and to hand the candidate names to the county election officials.  And the party does the actual canvass, even if they are simply reading off a computer printout.  The county chairs are also required to report results on election night to the secretary of state, just like the county clerks do for a general election.

The Republican Party just announced that they had 254 county chairs, for only the second time in history We Did It – 254 Republican County Chairmen.  Interestingly, in McMullen County 3 incumbent officials are taking advantage of having a county chair to run for re-elections as Republicans.

In addition a law permits the county chair for a small county (fewer than 5000 persons) to live an adjacent small county (less than 5000).  The double requirement limits this somewhat, since not all small counties have a small neighbor.  But it at least gives a chance to organize a primary.  Other than conducting the primary, there is no public activity for the county to chair to actually perform.

Another new law permits the state party chair to contract with county election officials to conduct the primary for statewide offices in counties with no party chair.  I could not find any information on whether or not the Democratic Party intends to use this process or not.  They appear to have around 18 counties with no county chair.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TJ's District Maps Series on: February 11, 2014, 12:05:33 am
I assume that municipalities which span multiple counties can be split along county lines with no penalty, since your Wisconsin map does just that in several spots.  (And it might make following the Michigan Rule literally impossible in some cases otherwise.)
Though the rule is usually stated as don't split counties unless necessary, and then don't split municipalities; the underlying principle is to not split the lowest-level communities.

So I would adjust the county boundaries to match municipality boundaries, placing the municipality in the county with the most population.
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Instances of "locally complete" nesting in states with non-integer H/A:S ratios on: February 10, 2014, 12:19:14 pm
One instance: Maine has 35 Senators (it could alternatively have 31 or 33 under the present Maine Constitution) and 151 full-fledged (caveat immaterial to this discussion) Represenatives, all elected from single-member districts.  Under last year's redistricting plan (Maine waited until 2013 to redraw it's legislative districts, but future redistricting will be done the year after the census) all districts are with 5% of the ideal population as of and according to the 2010 census.  But the city of Lewiston, with 0.9641/35 and 4.1596/151 of Maine's population, will have one whole Senate district (same as in the past decade) and four whole House districts with no partial districts (it had a partial fifth district in the past decade; it had something like 4.3/151 of Maine's population as of and according to the 2000 census).

The only other instances I'm aware of are in Hawaii, at least in the plan following the 2000 census, where seats were apportioned among the counties rather than statewide and deviations only calculated from the county average.  (So Kauai's one Senate district didn't very at all from the Kauai average!  Shocker!  Wink )  See Jimrtex's thorough analysis at http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=131671.msg2805710#msg2805710 .

Does anyone know of any other instances where a number of whole House/Assembly/[whatever the lower house of the Legislature is called] districts (including multi-member districts) are contained within a single Senate district* with no partial [lower house] districts within that Senate district even though the ratio of lower house members to upper house members in that state is not an integer?

*Preferably a single-member Senate district but I'll allow for multi-member Senate districts as long as the number of Senators in that district isn't a multiple of the denominator in the fractional [lower house member]:[upper house member] ratio, like not, for example a 2-member, 4-member, 6-member etc. Senate district in a state with a 5:2 House member:Senate member ratio.
Hawaii's constitution provides for both senators and house members to be apportioned among island groups using the Huntington-Hill method of equal proportions (current method used for US House).  Moreover, its constitution requires that legislative apportionment be based on the permanent resident population.   The US Census measures the usually resident population, excluding vacationers and employees who maintain a residence elsewhere.

The Hawaii redistricting commission initially excluded military personnel living in on-base housing, as this was the only information readily available from the census that could be attributed to census blocks.  The initial plan was overturned by the Hawaii Supreme Court that said that the apportionment commission had not used the permanent resident population.

The second version excluded just over 100,000 persons, about 8% of the census population.  98% of the excluded population is on Oahu.  This number was based on military pay records, which include a state for purposes of state taxation, as well as information about dependents - which doesn't necessarily indicate co-residency.  They also excluded non-resident college students, based on whether they were paying out-of-state tuition at public universities, or had an out-of-state residence for private universities.   This information was then attributed to census blocks for doing the apportionment and redistricting.

Both the island unit apportionment and permanent resident provisions were challenged in federal court, and upheld (the US Supreme Court just recently denied certiorari).  The challenge was on both equal protection and due process grounds (the adjustments for permanent residence are somewhat fuzzy).

As a result, Hawaii has a 44.2% deviation among senate districts, and 21.6% among house districts.

The apportionment is interesting.  Based on the original plan:

Hawaii           3.43(3)     6.99(7)
Kauai, etc.     1.25(1)     2.55(3)
Maui,etc.        2.88(3)     5.88(6)
Oahu           17.44(18)  35.58(35)

Note that Oahu received one additional senate district, and one fewer house district than it would based on independent rounding.  The senate fractions add to 2, but only one is greater than 0.5.  Such situations generally favor larger units (Oahu could have had 17.33 and still outpaced Hawaii for the final seat). 

On the house side, the fractions add to 3, but all 4 units have a fraction greater than 0.5.  This situation is disfavorable to large units, as is seen by Oahu having a larger fraction than Kauai, but Kauai receiving the final district.

After the population was adjusted:

Hawaii           3.67(4)      7.48(7)
Kauai, etc.     1.33(1)      2.72(3)
Maui,etc.        3.09(3)      6.30(6)
Oahu           16.91(17)  34.50(35)

The entitlements for the neighbor islands increased by about 7%, and caused a shift of a senate district from Oahu to Hawaii.  Curiously, Oahu's raw entitlement declined by 1.08, but no change in the final apportionment, while its senate entitlement declined by 0.53, but a loss of a whole senate seat.

If Hawaii were to gain about 0.02 of a house district (around 500 persons, or even fewer if they moved from Oahu) it would be apportioned an 8th house seat, and nesting could be used for all districts (ie Hawaii 4:8, Kauai 1:3, Maui 3:6, Oahu 17:34)

The Washington constitution would permit similar nesting, and has in the past, but it is generally believed that it would be impossible under a modern (post-Reynolds v Sims) interpretation.

The Maui districts are nested, two house districts for each of the 3 senate districts.  Curiously, there is a fairly large variation in the population among the senate districts (9.9%), but very little between their nested pairs of house districts.

Deviation among district populations is very much calculated and shown based on the island groups, with the deviation from statewide ratios, presented in a secondary manner.

And a curious recommendation from the reapportionment commission to the legislature:

"3. The 2011 Reapportionment Commission recommends that the legislature initiate changes in law to clarify whether or not a state senate election held to fill a vacancy created when an incumbent resigns is a “regular election” for the purpose of computing Senate staggered terms."

I don't know what the circumstances were, but Hawaii elects its senators from staggered 4-year terms, with the staggers maintained based on district continuity across redistricting.  A similar system in California has resulted in 10% of Californians with no senate representation since 2012.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Flo's and ElectionGuy's Maps on: February 02, 2014, 11:43:52 am
This is my attempt to recreate the 1991-2001 version of TX-13. It was purposely drawn this way in the 1990's redistricting cycle to shore up then-democratic incumbent Bill Sarpalius. It removed some republican territory in the Texas panhandle (most notably Randall County, which hasn't gone D at the presidential level since 1948), and included two "arms" to pick up democratic enclaves - one into Lubbock County to pick up the minority-heavy parts of Lubbock, and the other into Denton County to pick up the heavily democratic area around North Texas University. Even with these additions, Sarpalius only won one cycle under this map.
It also split Amarillo, leaving out the more-Republican Potter County.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Most Liberal Possible District by State on: February 02, 2014, 03:10:00 am
79% Obama



Cool map
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the matter with Indiana? on: January 24, 2014, 09:23:46 pm
Something that I have been pondering for awhile and I think is a good discussion/debate piece.

What the heck is up with Indiana politics?

It is a Midwestern state that exhibits a lot of Midwestern characteristics in many non-political cultural aspects. However, it is politically like a deep southern state.

Now, before you point out that Indiana's population center is further south (and smaller) than its neighbors and that this would be the explanation, bear with me.

Even accounting for the fact that Chicago and Cleveland are up north and Indianapolis is down south, rural Indiana has some distinct differences from rural Illinois and Ohio.

First off, the micro-cities in Indiana are all a very dark red (barring Bloomington because of the college town aspect). Fort Wayne is extremely conservative-voting, while micro-urban communities in central and southern Illinois (Carbondale, Champaign-Urbana (even without the college), Peoria) as well as Ohio (Dayton, etc) are liberal voters.

Additionally, the brand of conservatism in Indiana is much more akin to a state from south of the Mason-Dixon line. The KKK's roots can be drawn to Indiana, their Senatorial candidates talk about rape being God's will, they are about to vote for a Constitutional ban on gay marriage, etc. These are all things that even without their population centers, Illinois and Ohio Republicans would reject, as they are more moderate than their southern counter-parts.

So, why is this? What's the matter with Indiana?
After the Civil War it was one of the few northern states that voted Democratic.  It is more adjacent to Kentucky than Ohio or Illinois.  From the population centers in Kentucky around Louisville and Lexington you have to back up to get to Ohio.  And it is the tips of Illinois and Kentucky that meet.  Development northward from the Ohio was along the Wabash which takes you back into Indiana, and if you go up the Mississippi, you can as easily go to Missouri.

Indiana missed out on much of the immigration of the turn of the 19th Century, as well as black migration from the South.  Gary is a secondary growth from Chicago and was later.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The 124 States of America on: January 18, 2014, 01:40:27 pm
An initiative to create 6 Californias has been filed (it means that someone was willing to put up the $200 filing fee).

6 Californias Initiative (PDF)

The 6 states would be:

(1) A new state, named Jefferson, including the territory represented by the boundaries of
the following counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino,
Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity.

(2) A new state, named North California, including the territory represented by the
following counties:, Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra,
Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba.

(3) A new state, named Central California, including the territory represented by the
boundaries of the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera,
Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne.

(4) A new state, named Silicon Valley, including the territory represented by the
following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara,
Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

(5) A new state, named West California, including the territory represented by the
following counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura.

(6) A new state, named South California, including the territory of Imperial, Orange,
Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.

There would also be an initiative process by which a county could switch to a different state.
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