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51  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Primary calendar and delegate allocation megathread on: August 16, 2015, 03:13:30 am
TBA:

Washington

The green papers has dates for some of these:

March 5: Kansas Republican Caucus, Washington Republican Caucus

March 26: Washington Democratic Caucus, Alaska Democratic Caucus
Washington will hold its primary on May 24, the date set by state law. There is a provision in state law that permits a change in date, if approved by a 2/3 vote of a committee comprised of the four legislative leaders (or their designate), four state party leaders, and the Secretary of State.

This resulted in a 5:4 GOP advantage, but they were unable to secure a 6th vote to change the date to March 8 or March 22.

The Democratic party in Washington does not use the primary, and so didn't want to have a primary before their caucus, where it would be clear to all that they would be ignoring the results.

The Republican party has not set the date for their caucus. The March 5 date is based on 2012 when there was no primary.
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Hamilton County, Ohio on: August 14, 2015, 09:10:31 pm
I thought Hamilton, OH would be an interesting county to see broken down. Its an interesting county because it anchors a big city, yet was once solidly Republican. As the urban rural divide came more and more into effect, the margins become smaller and smaller and eventually turned blue during the Obama elections. Yet this county still has a lot of VERY conservative areas within it.



Green (city of Cincinnati, 297K): 75-24 Obama
Purple (northern suburbs, 163K): 59-40 Obama
Red (eastern suburbs, 151K): 61-38 McCain
Blue (western subrubs, 191K): 69-30 McCain

Usually the suburbs within the county of a big city are less conservative than the ones around it, but Hamilton is an exception. Especially the blue area, the northeastern part of the blue section has some Obama precincts, so most of that is >70% McCain! I even saw some >80% McCain precincts, as if this is Birmingham or Atlanta. So my question would be, what makes these suburbs directly to the west of the city so Republican? Is it wealth, religion, or any other factor? The eastern suburbs vote like the counties around it, and the purple vote like typical inner suburbs.
The black population has moved northward. There are some very black suburbs. There are some extremely sharp racial gradients in the eastern part of the city, so the area to the east must be lower/middle class white which provided resistance. The presence of Hamilton-Middleton-Dayton must have provided some impetus to the north. Indiana would be more interested in developing roads to New Albany, and Ohio might not have developed roads to the west. The river itself would have been preferred over the railroads at least in the 19th Century.The area to the west in the county is not densely populated and doesn't have that many cities. It may be a place for a wealthy mercantile class/country clubs, particularly since Cincinnati is a commercial center rather than industrial.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 12, 2015, 01:02:54 pm
Summary of Data (Part 2)

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

Vote Order Sheet, Cumulative GOP, Vote Order Chart, Cumulative GOP (est), Vote Order Chart

In this sheet and chart, the precincts are ordered by number of ballots cast in the November 2014 general election. This is the order that Beth Clarkson used. While she claimed that the precincts were ordered by size, they were ordered by ballots cast. The difference in this chart and the previous chart is that precincts that were more Republican had higher turnout. This does not necessarily mean that Republicans were more likely to vote. It could mean that voters in more affluent areas were more likely to vote, and that voters in more affluent areas are more likely to be Republican. In either case, this will have the effect of making the electorate more Republican, and shifting the more Republican districts to the right in the chart.

Who is registered, where they live, which precinct they live in, their party affiliation, and whether they voted in 2014, is public information. That is, if one were so inclined, the data in this chart could be audited, included directly determining if there is any relationship between party affiliation and whether someone voted or not.

The first chart does not show the composition of those who voted, but does show that as the number of votes cast increases, the precincts have a larger share of registered Republicans. The second chart shows an estimate of the number of Republican voters. It uses a simple model. If 60% of registered voters in a precinct vote, then 60% of registered Republicans, 60% of registered Democrats, etc. voted. That is, it assumes that there are demographic factors such as income, education, age, race, marital status, race, etc. that increase the likelihood of voting; and that these same factors increase the likelihood that a voter will register as a Republican. That is, in this simple model, being a Republican does not directly increase the likelihood of voting - Republicanism correlates with increased turnout, but does not cause it.

For the second chart, we estimate the Republican voters for a precinct as: GOP% registration multiplied by ballots cast in the precinct. We calculate the cumulative Republican percentage using these estimates and display it as a function of the cumulative number of ballots cast (red curve). In addition, we display the cumulative registration share from the previous chart. This blue curve underestimates the GOP% share since it in effect assumes uniform turnout.

Turnout v GOP% Chart, Turnout v GOP% (precincts more than 100 votes) Chart

These two charts show the relationship between turnout and the GOP registration share. The second chart excludes precincts with fewer than 100 votes cast. This should make the trend line more reliable. As we have noted before, there are relatively few precincts with about 40% GOP registration, while there are more precincts around 50% and 30% registration. The 50% GOP precincts had around 60% turnout, and the 30% GOP precincts had around 45% turnout, which is consistent with the trend line.

If we assumed that whether someone voted was entirely dependent on their party affiliation, we could use the trend line to predict the probability that a registered Republican voted, as well as the probability that a registered non-Republican (Democrat, Libertarian, or independent) voted. If there were no other predictive factors, we could draw a precinct around each voter, which would be either 100% GOP or 0% GOP.

The GOP-registered voters would have a 93.3% probability of having voted, and non-Republicans would have a 25.5% probability of having voted. This is so implausible that we must conclude that there are other factors besides, or in addition to, partisan registration that drive voter participation.

Trend line:

turnout% = 25.5% + 0.68%*GOP%  Unweighted, precincts less than 100 votes excluded.
turnout% = 26.7% + 0.66%*GOP%  Weighted by precinct registration
turnout% = 27.6% + 0.65%*GOP%  Weighted by precinct turnout.

Cumulative Roberts, Size Order Sheet, Roberts%, Size Order Chart

This sheet and chart show the cumulative vote share for Pat Roberts in the US Senate race, with the precincts ordered by registration. This is what Beth Clarkson purported to show. But she did not order the precincts by size (number of registered voters), but rather by the number of votes cast.

A surprise is that there was a decline in the Roberts vote share as larger precincts were added in. Looking carefully at the cumulative GOP share, it appears that there was a small decline (about 2%), which he had characterized as being negligible. The cumulative Roberts vote share declines about 4%. This indicates that the Roberts% minus GOP% difference does decline as larger precincts are added in.

Roberts% v Registration Chart, Roberts% v Registration (small precincts excluded) Chart

These two charts show the relationship between Roberts support and the number of registered voters. The first chart hides values from precincts with fewer than 200 voters, while the second chart excludes them. Thus they are also excluded from calculation of the trend line.  The trend line line shows a decline of about 3.5% in Roberts support per increase of 1000 voters.  This contrasts with about 0.5% increase per 1000 voters for GOP registration.

It is important to remember, that just because a precinct had 1500 registered voters, who voted 40% for Roberts, it does not mean that Roberts got 600 votes to 900 for Orman and Batson. The 40% is measured among those who actually voted.

Roberts% v Senate Votes Chart, Roberts% v Senate Votes (small precincts excluded) Chart

These two charts present the Roberts share of the vote as a function of the votes cast in the senate race. The second chart excluded precincts with fewer than 100 votes from the trend line calculation.

The trend of larger precincts tending to support Roberts, is reversed. This does not mean that larger precincts tended to support Roberts, but rather that the larger precincts that supported Roberts tended to have higher turnout. A large precinct with high turnout will have a large number of votes cast. A large precinct with low turnout will have a moderate number of votes cast.

Countywide, Roberts had 50.9% support. His support exceeded the countywide average in 54.3% of precincts. The median is higher than the mean. There are some extremely Democratic, predominately black precincts, in the northeast part of the city. Three precincts between Washington and Hillside had Roberts support below 7%. They also had turnout below 35%, which is far below the countywide turnout of 52.7%. There is a cluster of precincts below 30% Robert support, with between 400 and 800 votes cast, all of which are in the northern part of the city, and all but three in city council district one.

There are two precincts with around 1200 votes cast, and about 30% Roberts support. They are located in the Riverside neighborhood between the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers, northwest of downtown. They had average turnout, but were supportive of Orman. In precinct 0607, the GOP had 36.6% registration, but Roberts only received. 29.3% of the vote.

The 10 precincts with the most votes all supported Roberts at a rate greater than the county wide average. The three precincts with the highest Roberts support are GD (Grand River township), UN01 (Union township), and GA (Garden Plain township). These are west of the city. While they are not urban, the population density (51 in Garden Plain, 70 in Union) is too high to be supported by wheat farming. They are within commuting distance of Wichita, so that people can live in the country, while earning a living in the city. These precincts were heavily Republican to start with (above 60% GOP registration, about 20% higher than the county average), had high turnout (around 60%, about 8% to 10% higher than the county average), and very high Roberts support (about 75%, about 25% higher than county support). Rather than Orman peeling off a few Republican votes, even independents were voting for Roberts.

Cumulative Roberts, Vote Order Sheet, Roberts%, Vote Order Chart

This sheet and chart show the cumulative Roberts share, with the precincts ordered by votes cast in the Senate race. This is typical of the results produced by Beth Clarkson.

The minimum occurs at 49,612 cumulative votes cast, 47.4% Roberts support. This corresponds to a precinct with 698 votes cast. This follow a downward dip beginning at 32,806 votes cast and 49.8% support. The dip begins at a precinct with 596 votes cast. If we look back at the previous chart, we will see that there is a cluster of precincts with extremely low Roberts support, between about 600 and 700 votes cast. When these precincts are added in, the cumulative support drops. But once we are past these precincts, the cumulative vote begins to climb back towards the countywide average.

The final part of the cumulative curve (past 127,481 50.0%), which appears to be a straight line,  corresponds to the 10 precincts with the most votes cast, which were all more Roberts supporting than the average.

Unlike Clarkson's finding that something special happens at 500 votes cast, the minimum occurs at 700 votes cast. This is the point at which the extremely Democratic precincts are largely exhausted. From a statistical point of view, they are outliers.

On a statewide basis, the minimum does occur with smaller precincts. The precincts in Wyandotte (Kansas City, Kansas) and Shawnee (Topeka) are particularly small, considering that these two counties are the third and fourth most populous counties in the state. These two counties, along with Douglas (Lawrence) are the only three large Democratic leaning counties. Once the votes from those two counties were added in, only Douglas and the Democratic areas of Sedgwick county remained to counter the Republican leaning precincts in the remainder of the state.
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 11, 2015, 08:42:13 pm
The second effect is hard to ferret out of the data but is one I observe in IL. Suburban and exurban precincts tend to be the largest. Around me this is due to the growth patterns and the time lag to adjust precinct sizes to population. As urban areas decline and suburbs grow one tends to find urban precincts that are smaller than suburban precincts. I suspect KS is like IL in this regard. If it is the case, then given that suburban areas will be more Pub than urban areas this will result in a bias towards large precincts favoring Pubs.
Though the effects within Sedgwick County appear to be quite mild, slightly higher registration in Republican council districts of Wichita balanced by by somewhat smaller precincts outside the city, there are significant intracounty differences.

For example, Shawnee County (Topeka) has no precincts with so many as 1000 voters, while in Wichita, a precinct with less that 1000 voters is definitely a small precinct.
55  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders rally in Los Angeles in front of 30.000 people on: August 11, 2015, 01:14:40 pm
The movement seems to grow daily:

First 15.000 in Seattle, then 28.000 in Portland and now 30.000 in Los Angeles:


That is pretty bold - a campaign sign in Cyrillic.
56  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Perry campaign, low on cash, stops paying SC staff *UPDATE* actually, all staff on: August 11, 2015, 01:28:53 am
Bush actually ran a third party candidate against Perry in the general. His press secretary's mom ran as a Libertarian.
Carole of the Many Names ran as an independent in 2006. After running for mayor of Austin in 2009, and finishing 3rd. she was toying with running as a Democrat for Controller.
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The city where the Republican Party was founded voted for Obama on: August 10, 2015, 02:33:09 pm
Ripon, WI voted 51-47 Obama in 2012 and 53-45 Obama in 2008. Isn't that ironic?
The Republican Party was anti-slavery and anti-polygamy (Mormon). That explains 2012.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: FL: Rereredistricting on: August 10, 2015, 02:31:23 pm
FLOTUS

Florida Of The United States? Huh

It must have been coined during Bush v. Gore, suggesting it had usurped the SCOTUS or something. It doesn't make much sense does it?  Smiley
Ordinarily it is referred to as SCOFLA, with an obvious pronunciation.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 10, 2015, 02:26:59 pm
The second effect is hard to ferret out of the data but is one I observe in IL. Suburban and exurban precincts tend to be the largest. Around me this is due to the growth patterns and the time lag to adjust precinct sizes to population. As urban areas decline and suburbs grow one tends to find urban precincts that are smaller than suburban precincts. I suspect KS is like IL in this regard. If it is the case, then given that suburban areas will be more Pub than urban areas this will result in a bias towards large precincts favoring Pubs.
I did find a small effect if I limited the data to Wichita precincts with more than 200 registered voters. Precincts less than 200 voters are generally caused by district boundaries slicing off a small area that has its own unique ballot style (combination of legislative and other races). They may also be caused by city annexations, where legislative district boundaries coincide with the former city limits. The newly annexed area must then be place in a small precinct, since it is now within the city, but still in its legislative district for the remainder of the decade, at least. Because of their size they may be considered noise, since there may be no demographic association with their size.

Within Wichita, precincts in city council districts 2 and 5, tend to be a bit larger than precincts in the other districts.  Districts 2 and 5, are the most Republican districts, and the newest developing areas on the east and west side. The size difference may reflect that there has been less division and have higher CVAP, or it may be related to higher registration rates.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 09, 2015, 11:26:39 am
Summary of Data

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

Sedgwick County Overview

Sedgwick County has 440 election precincts. 130 of these have no registered voters. Kansas law requires election precincts to be self-contiguous, and to not cross city and township boundaries, nor cross legislative and other district boundaries. Annexations can leave unincorporated enclaves, and some cities have detached exclaves. If an annexation occurs after district boundaries were defined, additional small precincts may be created.

In 2014, Sedgwick County consolidated 100 election precincts into 40 precincts for purposes of voting. This was done where the election precincts shared a polling location and a ballot style (ie they had the same races).

This consolidation resulted in 251 precincts that had election results reported for the 2014 election. One of these (DL02) had zero votes cast and I have excluded it. It is data from these 250 consolidated election precincts that I have analyzed.

Precincts in the city of Wichita have a 4-digit precinct number. The first digit is always 0, and the second (hundreds) digit indicates which of Wichita's six city council districts the precinct is in.

Other precincts in the county have a two letter prefix indicating the city or township (eg 'AT' is for Attica township), followed by a two digit number.  If there is only one precinct (or one main precinct) for the city or town, the number may be omitted (eg 'GO' is the precinct for the city of Goddard, and GO01 ... GO04 are additional precincts. 98% of Goddard voters are in GO).

Raw Data Sheet

Registration data is from May 22, 2015, and includes party registration (Democratic, Libertarian, Republican, and independent(unaffiliated). Sedgwick County maintains registration using the 440 base election precincts. I have consolidated this data to match the 250 consolidated precincts used for the 2014 general election.

The 2014 election data included total registration, but did not include partisan information. The 2014 total registration is consistent with the 2015 total registration for each precinct. I have used the 2015 data since it includes a partisan breakdown. Arguably, the 2014 data should be used for measuring turnout, but it should make negligible difference.

Registration includes both active and inactive voters. An "inactive" voter under federal law is a voter who has apparently moved from the county, but which has not been confirmed by the voter. It includes voters whose confirmation notice was returned as having no forwarding address. Inactive voters may vote, but most likely will not. They are removed from the voting rolls if they miss two federal elections after they have been sent a confirmation notice.

The number of ballots cast, and the senatorial and gubernatorial results are from the November 2014 elections. They are reported directly for the 250 consolidated precincts.

GOP v Registration Data Sheet GOP v Registration Chart, GOP v Registration (Wichita) Chart

This sheet calculates the GOP registration share for each precinct. The chart displays the GOP registration share vs the number of registered voters in each precinct. There does not appear to be a strong relationship between GOP registration and the size of the precinct. Using a weighted least-squares linear fit (weights are the number of voters in each precinct), yields a slope of less than 0.5% per 1000 voters).

Countywide, the GOP registration is 40.6%. There appears to be a gap in the data, with most precincts being more Republican or less Republican than the average. That is, the average is not typical.

The second chart is limited to precincts in Wichita with more than 200 registered voters. There may be a weak relationship between precinct size and partisanship (correlation is only 0.125 though). The precincts in city council districts 2 and 5 are on average larger (15% or 20%). These precincts are in the newest areas of the city on the east and west side, and are more Republican. The size difference may reflect larger eligible populations or higher registration rates.

Alphabetical Order Sheet Cumulative GOP, Alphabetical Order Chart

This sheet calculates the cumulative GOP registration share. To calculate the cumulative GOP registration, the total registration and the GOP registration are added one precinct at a time. For the ith precinct,

GOP_share(i) = sum(GOP1 ... GOPi) / sum(registration1 ... registrationi)

The chart shows the cumulative results as precincts are added in alphabetical order. Since election precincts are numbered by Wichita city council district, we can observe segments of the cumulative curve corresponding to each district.

DistrictAreaGOP%Regis.GOP%Regis.
1Northeast24.0%3288424.0%32884
2East46.3%3941236.2%72296
3Southeast26.3%2581933.6%98115
4Southwest37.1%3064634.4%128761
5West50.4%4075938.2%169520
6Northwest35.2%3109437.8%200614
Non-Wichita48.6%6967440.6%270288

The two most Republican districts, Districts 2 and 5, have the highest registration, even though presumably all six districts have similar populations.

Random Order Sheet, Cumulative GOP, Random Order Chart

This sheet accumulates the precincts in random order, or more correctly, a random order. A random number was generated for each precinct, and then the precincts were sorted based on the random numbers.

The chart shows the cumulative GOP% registration for randomly ordered precincts. As we would expect, the cumulative GOP% converges on the countywide share of 40.6% and stays fairly close to that value. The convergence is somewhat slower than might be expected. There are three contributory factors.

(1) There are relatively few precincts, 250 in total. Moreover, many are quite small. 40 have less than 200 voters, and contribute little to the overall result.
(2) The precincts are polarized. While the county is 40.6% GOP registration, most precincts are more Republican (50% or so GOP), or less Republican (30% or so GOP). A precinct that has about 40% GOP registration is atypical.
(3) There are a few extremely Democratic precincts (eg 10% GOP ) in areas that are predominately black. 56% of voters are in precincts that are more Republican than the countywide 40.6% GOP Registration. This preponderance of voters in more Republican areas is counterbalanced by 10 or so extremely Democratic precincts. With so few of these precincts, it is unlikely that they would be evenly distributed among a random sequence.

GOP% Distribution Chart

This chart shows the percentage of voters who reside in precincts with a particular range of GOP registration. For example, 18.0% of voters reside in precincts that are approximately 50% Republican registration. Each bar corresponds to a band 5% wide. So more precisely, 18.0% of voters reside in precincts that are between 47.5% and 52.5% Republican.

While overall the county is 40.6% Republican, relatively few voters reside in precincts that are 40% Republican, compared to the number who live in precincts that are 50% Republican or 30% Republican. This polarization of the electorate, may contribute to a misperception of election results.

Size Order Sheet, Cumulative GOP, Size Order Chart

This sheet and chart order the precincts by number of registered voters. The cumulative GOP% is initially more Republican, due to the smallest precincts being outside Wichita. The small size is not due to the area being rural or agricultural, but due to precinct fragmentation caused by annexation and irregular city boundaries. Within Wichita, the most common precinct size is in the range of 1000 to 1900. Precincts that are somewhat large can be split, and the two halves fall within the range, while precincts that are somewhat smaller can be merged with the resulting whole being within the range.

There appears to be a sensibility that precincts should either be full sections or half sections. This provides recognizable boundaries, since arterial streets are usually along section lines, or half section lines, and may also correspond to sense of neighborhood or community.

The increase in Republican percentage between a cumulative registration of 38,000 and 76,000 reflects a larger share of precincts from outside Wichita in the range of 850 to 1250 registered voters. Within Wichita, precincts of this size are less typical (not extraordinary, but merely slightly less ordinary). Within that range of precinct sizes, there is a larger contribution to the total from outside Wichita, than there is for larger-sized precincts.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 09, 2015, 09:26:53 am
The latest chart is fairly remarkable.

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

The chart 'Roberts% v Size Order' shows the cumulative Roberts percentage in the 2014 Senate election, with the precincts arranged by increasing registration.

The chart shows:

y = sum(Roberts) / sum(votes)
x = sum(registration)

So even though the GOP registration percentage is neutral with respect to precinct size, the Roberts vote declined with larger precincts.

Possible factors include that suburban precincts are somewhat smaller, and supported Roberts to a greater extent than Republicans within Wichita.  The correlation between the GOP registration share and the Roberts share is only 0.735, so it was far from simple straight-ticket voting.
The last two charts show the relationship between the Roberts vote share and the registration size.  The first chart masks precincts with less than 200 voters, while the second chart excludes them, thus the key difference is in the calculation of the trend line:

Roberts% = 54.6% -3.52% per 1000 voters.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 08, 2015, 09:55:16 pm
The latest chart is fairly remarkable.

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

The chart 'Roberts% v Size Order' shows the cumulative Roberts percentage in the 2014 Senate election, with the precincts arranged by increasing registration.

The chart shows:

y = sum(Roberts) / sum(votes)
x = sum(registration)

So even though the GOP registration percentage is neutral with respect to precinct size, the Roberts vote decline with larger precincts.

Possible factors include that suburban precincts are somewhat smaller, and supported Roberts to a greater extent than Republicans within Wichita.  The correlation between the GOP registration share and the Roberts share is only 0.735, so it was far from simple straight-ticket voting.


63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 08, 2015, 01:29:23 pm
Clarkson claims that the effects only arise with precincts having more than 500 votes. If I only take those precincts with over 500 votes the GOP% is 76.2%, and if restrict it to those precincts with over 1000 votes then the GOP% is 81.2%. Compared to the countywide average of 40.6% this could look suspicious.

However, I think that there may be two effects that contribute to Clarkson's claims, neither of which has to do with the official in charge of voting. One obvious contribution comes from turn out. The countywide turnout of registered voters is 53.4%. Among the large precincts with over 500 votes cast the turnout is 54.6% and for the precincts with over 1000 votes cast the turnout is 59.6%. Since the large precincts are also more Pub this creates a correlation between turnout and GOP%. That isn't a surprise and has been observed many time before. I don't know if Clarkson controlled for that variable.

The second effect is hard to ferret out of the data but is one I observe in IL. Suburban and exurban precincts tend to be the largest. Around me this is due to the growth patterns and the time lag to adjust precinct sizes to population. As urban areas decline and suburbs grow one tends to find urban precincts that are smaller than suburban precincts. I suspect KS is like IL in this regard. If it is the case, then given that suburban areas will be more Pub than urban areas this will result in a bias towards large precincts favoring Pubs.
I have added two charts showing Turnout% v GOP Registration%.  The second one excludes precincts with less than 100 votes cast.

I also calculated a weighted least-squares linear fit.

The first uses the number of registered voters as the weight:

Turnout = 26.7% + 0.657% * GOP%

The second uses the number of cast votes as the weight.

Turnout = 27.6% + 0.647% * GOP%

The precincts with very low GOP% are above the trend line, suggesting that heavily black precincts did not have depressed turnout to the extent that working class white and Hispanic areas did.

If we project the results for GOP% = 0% and 100%, we come up with a remarkable estimate that turnout among non-Republicans was about 27%, while among Republicans it was over 90%.

Voter registration data is available, including party affiliation, and voting history, so it is possible to verify that individual voter records are consistent with aggregate data, without examining secret ballots.
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 08, 2015, 04:28:02 am
Clarkson claims that the effects only arise with precincts having more than 500 votes. If I only take those precincts with over 500 votes the GOP% is 76.2%, and if restrict it to those precincts with over 1000 votes then the GOP% is 81.2%. Compared to the countywide average of 40.6% this could look suspicious.
I have added a chart "Cumulative GOP, Vote Order" that shows this in the form similar to what Clarkson has used. The precincts are ordered based on the votes cast in November 2014, while the values charted are cumulative Republican registration share vs. cumulative registration. Clarkson uses cumulative Republican vote share vs. cumulative votes cast.

I think you have compared the wrong columns, though the effect is the same.

For precincts with over 1000 votes cast, the GOP registration share is 48.7%. For precincts with over 500 votes cast, GOP share is 41.6%, but only 37.2% for precincts between 500 and 1000.  For precincts with less than 500 votes, the GOP share is 35.5%.

This concept of precincts with more than 500 votes cast being different, first came from Republican primaries, where Paul supporters claimed that votes were being flipped by Romney-supporting election official. They used votes cast because it could be computed directly from the election returns.

In a Republican primary, turnout measured against total registration can vary a large amount. The number of Republican voters in a primary tells you a lot more about the precinct than its size. I took a look at the 2012 Republican primary in Orange County, California, and not only did turnout correlate with the Republican registration share, turnout among Republicans correlated with the Republican registration share. That is, if you had two precincts with 1000 voters, one that was 25% Republican and one that was 50% Republican, there would be more than twice the number of votes cast in the primary in the more Republican precinct.

Areas that have high Republican registration, are likely to be wealthier, be more home-owning, be older, be married, and be more economically stable. These factors would increase the chance that a registered voter still lives at the address they are registered at, and in California that they are permanent vote by mail. Such voters would be more likely to vote, and to vote conventionally (eg for Romney).

However, I think that there may be two effects that contribute to Clarkson's claims, neither of which has to do with the official in charge of voting. One obvious contribution comes from turn out. The countywide turnout of registered voters is 53.4%. Among the large precincts with over 500 votes cast the turnout is 54.6% and for the precincts with over 1000 votes cast the turnout is 59.6%. Since the large precincts are also more Pub this creates a correlation between turnout and GOP%. That isn't a surprise and has been observed many time before. I don't know if Clarkson controlled for that variable.
Clarkson did not, since she used votes cast as her ordering value (and also calculating the Republican vote share). There is a correlation between GOP registration share and turnout.

The registration statistics include inactive voters, who are voters that election materials have been sent, but where there was no forwarding address. Election officials can't remove someone from the voting rolls unless they have a confirmation that they have moved, or died. If they move and re-register, they can be removed, but only if the election officials know that they are the same person. This is likely if the move was within a county, possible within a state, less likely between states. Even if someone who has moved between states is detected with a cross-check program, they have to be affirmatively contacted. An inactive voter can be removed after not voting for two general elections.

An inactive voter can vote the same as an active voter - they are just much less likely to, because they probably have moved. Democrat voters may tend to be less self-motivated to vote. This is also true of independent voters, since some probably were picked up in registration drives, and did not indicate a party. Not checking a party box may indicate independence, but it may also indicate indifference.

It is not universal that being more Republican leads to higher turnout. For example, in the Cook County suburbs (ie Cook County Board of Elections), turnout in Evanston and Oak Park was every bit as high as New Trier and Barrington, but at the same time turnout was much lower in Cicero.  That is, turnout may correlate with economic status, and GOP support may correlated with economic status (Evanston and Oak Park are counter-examples).

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The second effect is hard to ferret out of the data but is one I observe in IL. Suburban and exurban precincts tend to be the largest. Around me this is due to the growth patterns and the time lag to adjust precinct sizes to population. As urban areas decline and suburbs grow one tends to find urban precincts that are smaller than suburban precincts. I suspect KS is like IL in this regard. If it is the case, then given that suburban areas will be more Pub than urban areas this will result in a bias towards large precincts favoring Pubs.
This might be true in Kansas. 

I tried to discover a relationship in Sedgwick County. There is almost no correlation between GOP registration share and precinct size. If I exclude precincts with less than 500 voters, there might be a weak relationship. If I do a weighted least square fit, using registered voters as both the independent variable and the weight, it appears that there might be about a 0.45% increase in GOP share for every increase of 1000 voters. But most typical precincts are between 1000 and 2000 voters, so that would only be a small increase among the smallest and largest typical precincts.

About 3/4 of Sedgwick County voters are in Wichita. There aren't areas that are outside the city that are developed enough to have a regular precinct structure.

Precincts in Sedgwick County come in fairly regular sizes:

Townships.
Sections.
Half-Sections
Quarter Sections.

But there are some irregular precincts that are larger than a section, that tend to have the most voters. And the section precincts also tend to be larger.

This is a work in progress.  The darkest three shades indicate precincts greater than 2000, 1750-2000, and 1500-1750. There is a small core of smaller precincts, mostly half-sections, with a few quarter-sections, but it is only 14 precincts. The west side appears to be the newest developing area, with lots of curving residential streets. The precincts that are half-sections are smaller.



Sedgwick County uses single polling centers for multiple precincts. There are a few instance of one polling center for one precinct, but they are in the remote parts on the county, where voters would have to travel to a neighboring township which might be 10 or more miles away. These shared polling centers even combine precincts from different cities or townships. So long as a precinct is not divided by district boundaries of some sort, it might not be any reason to divide precincts for size or convenience reasons. But this might be a new policy based on a certain type of voting equipment.

In a state like Illinois, where not only is Cook County filled in, so are the neighboring counties, and you have to go out to Kane County to find new subdivisions, there is no room for population to grow, except infill with apartments. Precincts may lose population as they mature, couples are replaced by widows or widowers, new families may be single, or non-citizen.

It may be impractical to merge precincts. The population loss might not be large enough to justify doubling. There may be political resistance. If someone has to travel three blocks instead of one blocks to vote, it will be indicated as a 200% increase. But by the same token, it may be difficult to split a precinct, since it will require a new polling place. It may be easier to add another voting machine or election clerk to handle a small increase.

Communities are created on a larger scale that assumes access to automobile. At one time cities were expanded by adding to the street grid, and home builders adding a house at a time. Some houses might have been built by the owner. So perhaps there is a relationship.

I had looked at statewide precinct results for Kansas. What was very clear was that precinct sizes vary from county to county. Wyandotte (Kansas City) and Shawnee (Topeka) had small precincts (measured by votes cast). They are two of the three Democratic counties in the state, with the third being Douglas (Lawrence). Looking at the cumulative Republican share, there would be a few Republican precincts that would increase the GOP cumulative share, and then a Democratic precinct that would cause a notch downward (Democratic precincts are less numerous, but more extreme). After the Wyandotte and Shawnee precincts stopped showing up, there was Douglas and the Democratic areas of Wichita, which were not numerous enough to match the continuing Republican counties. Butler County, which might be considered exurban, but certainly suburban, has some very large precincts.  The precincts in Johnson County, had more votes cast as you go west and south, but that might be due to their having higher turnout.

So in Sedgwick County, at least, the key factor is differential turnout. I think after the shenanigans with the Democratic senate nominee, that Republican turnout was enhanced.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 07, 2015, 03:38:30 am
I can't understand any of this either. One thing that would be relevant is consistency. If precincts have consistent patterns, and there is fraud, then the fraud must be replicated with remarkable consistency, election after election, in just about the same degree. And all over Kansas. It's remarkable that if such widespread fraud, somebody, somewhere would not have gone rogue, and revealed at least some individual instances.
It might be be hard to understand.  That's what I'll take it a step at a time.
Beth Clarkson claims that as precinct sizes increases, that the Republican share of the vote increases.  She says that this is inexplicable other than by manipulation of the voting machines.

So we will test her claim, by ordering the precincts by number of registered voters.

Sedgwick County spreadsheet See Cumulative GOP, Size Order.

This doesn't appear to support Clarkson's claim at all. It looks similar to the curve for random order.  The right side might be somewhat more volatile, but now the precincts are uniformally becoming larger, so that there are fewer precincts needed for a given total registration precinct. The largest precincts are about 2,000 (with a singular precinct over 3,000), so that it only takes 10 precincts to add 20,000 to the cumulative total. With the polarization of the population, in a small sample there can easily be more or fewer Republican or Democratic precincts than typical.

For certain sized precincts, there is a geographic connection. The smallest precincts are predominately outside Wichita. Annexations can chop up townships forcing creation of small precincts. In Kansas, precincts must be contiguous, so an annexation that isolates a small part of township will create a new precinct. The newly annexed area may also be in a new precinct if a legislative district boundary followed the former city limits.

While small precincts in Wichita are uncommon, they do exist. For example precinct 0321 has 67 voters in a 4-square-block area, created where a senate district boundary zigged, while a house district boundary zagged. Being outside Wichita, the small precincts tend to be more Republican.

There is a minimum at about 38,000 voters. There is a string of 8 districts in a row that are more Democratic than average. There is unlikely to be a systemic cause of districts between 770 and 870, that causes them to be Democratic, so it was just a case of luck.

The increase in GOP registration share between 38,000 and 75,000 corresponds to precincts between about 850 and 1200 voters. A somewhat large share of these are outside Wichita. It is not that there are not Wichita precincts of this size, but they are on the lower range for Wichita. With more of these outside Wichita, they tend to be somewhat more Republican than the county as a whole.

A large share of Wichita precincts are in the range 1000 to 1900 voters. Precincts that are somewhat larger could be split and fall in this range, precincts that are somewhat smaller could be merged into precincts in that range. This appears to be the "normal" size for a precinct that is a section or half-section in an urban area.

Why are our results different than Clarkson's? We used the actual precinct registration. She used the number of votes cast in a precinct. While larger precincts will tend to have more votes cast, the turnout (votes cast divided by registration) may vary. A smaller precinct with higher turnout may have more votes cast than in larger precinct with lower turnout.
66  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Do you think all 17 major GOP candidates will make it to the Iowa Caucuses? on: August 06, 2015, 11:30:18 am
As the question states, do you think everyone will make it to Iowa? Or will at one or more drop out pre-Iowa?
The Republican caucuses have a secret ballot for president, but that is not binding on the precinct in how it chooses delegates for the county convention.  Perhaps a caucus might have persons speak on behalf of a candidate.  But the ballot will probably be by write-in.

After the secret ballot, the precinct leaders for Walker and Bush will try to bulldoze the precinct, claiming that they need to stick together.  Campaigns like Cruz and Paul will resist (except in precincts where they might be in control), and push for a split delegation.  Any odd delegates for Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Graham, will probably go along.

Filing for the early primaries will be past, and they can wait until after New Hampshire and South Carolina to stop filing.

And at this point would an endorsement by any candidate who might withdraw matter?
Under the new GOP nomination rules, pledged delegates from caucus states will be required to vote in some way that is based on the results of the caucus. Non-Binding caucuses are strictly prohibited. No matter who the county convention decides on for delegates, they will be required by party rules to vote according to the actual caucus results on the national convention's first (and likely only) ballot.

Pledged delegates from primary states will vote according to the primary results, just as they did in 2012.

There are a few unpledged delegates in each state, called superdelegates, but their votes don't matter unless it's a brokered convention. You can win the nomination with pledged delegates alone.
My interpretation of Rules of Republican Party is that the binding of delegates only occurs at a state or CD convention (in caucus states).
67  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Texas AG Indicted on: August 06, 2015, 04:56:28 am
Having a special prosecutor may be a disadvantage. "I spent $X00,000 investigating, and couldn't find anything wrong." That is particularly the case with Perry, where the prosecutor had to interpret a statute in a certain way.

If nothing is found. But remember Representative DeLay.

That was not by a special prosecutor, per se.  At the time, the Travis County DA, had authority to prosecute government officials, statewide.  Since the Travis County DA was a Democrat. Republicans assumed a bias.  In the case of DeLay it might have been true.  In addition, Travis County petit and grand jurors may be biased against Republicans.

After the Travis County DA was arrested for DWI, Governor Perry vetoed funding for the portion of the Travis County DA's budget that went to the PIU. That was the origin of the charges against Perry. As it turns out there is no way to get rid of a DA who is brought in drunk, and demands the sheriff be summoned and kicks chairs and has to be restrained.  There is no recall in Texas.

This session the PIU was removed from control of Travis County. 

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The indictments stem from Paxton apparently getting a couple of folks, one of whom is a state representative, to invest in a start-up company $100,000+, and not disclosing that he had not invested, and would also be receiving compensation in the form of stock.

Some lawyers suggest it will be hard to get a conviction. Typically, prosecution would be for fraudulent misrepresentation, but the indictment is for fraudulent omission. Prosecutors will have to prove that the omission was material to the investors investing.

In some bailiwicks such is known as undue influence. Full disclosure is mandatory in stock deals. If Paxton influenced others to invest by claiming to be an investor of his own funds and put up no cash (or a ridiculously-low amount) he may have committed securities fraud.

Of course people get commissions for selling securities, whether in startups or in established firms. One can of course exchange commissions for stock by buying into the stock.

Investment in a start-up stock corporation is a high-risk endeavor. Misrepresenting the risks by saying that one invested when one did not while inducing others to buy in is securities fraud.

That may be a key issue in the case.  Paxton is not charged with fraud by misrepresentation, but fraud by omission.  If the investors had testified, "Paxton claimed he had put $100,000 of his own money into the company. I'd done investing with Paxton before, and I figured if he had skin in the game, it'd be a good gamble.", that could be fraud by misrepresentation.

But the indictment is fraud by omission.  So the investors would have been asked, "Did he ever tell you that he had invested in the company?"   "No, but ..."

If the testimony were before a trial jury, the judge might direct a verdict of not guilty.  If it was before a grand jury, they would let the witness elaborate, but would not indict for material misrepresentation.  If the question was by an investigator, you would let the possible victim elaborate.

I did find a possibility in the SEC filings for the company.  There is pretty minimal disclosure.  Two big items that must be disclosed are how much is being paid to officers of the company, and how much is being paid for sales.

The SEC's primary concern is that the company isn't milking investors.  The compensation was a few $100,000.   But the disclosure did indicate that there was no sales compensation.

The last disclosures in 2013 did indicate that payments were being paid for soliciting investment. $2.6 million on solicitation of investment of $20 million, is probably reasonable - I don't know.

But the earlier investors could have seen the SEC disclosures.  "OK, the principals are being paid reasonable amounts, and there is no money being spent on sales.  All the money is going to development.  I'm a big boy, and I know that I may never get a dime back; but if this goes public, I'll get a 1000% return on the IPO."  I hardly think the investors were expecting a steady 3% return (better than a CD and just as safe).

There have been other investigations regarding the company.  The SEC was wanting documentation of the claims that they had made to investors, including capabilities (they are developing a low power server, and possible sales).  Apparently, they indicated that they had made a sales to Amazon, and it was a sale to someone who works for Amazon.  If you have thousands and thousands of servers, they take lots of power, and generate lots of heat which means that they need tons of air conditioning.   But if it turns out that it was just someone who wanted a personal server in case she ever became Secretary of State and wanted to store his diplomatic correspondence and email about her daughter's wedding in one place, it is a different matter.

A securities firm is being investigated whether they did due diligence into the company before they started selling stock.

I suspect that the development of the server went longer than expected, and sales have not materialized.  If an investor decided that it would be better to shut down development, so they could get xx% of their money back, they need a reason.  The other possibilities might be that the whole company is sold for $100,000 to someone who thinks that he can make a go of the technology, in which case the investors get roughly zero after lawyers fees are included.
68  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Do you think all 17 major GOP candidates will make it to the Iowa Caucuses? on: August 05, 2015, 07:43:19 pm
As the question states, do you think everyone will make it to Iowa? Or will at one or more drop out pre-Iowa?
Why does it matter if they drop out or not?

The Republican caucuses have a secret ballot for president, but that is not binding on the precinct in how it chooses delegates for the county convention.  Perhaps a caucus might have persons speak on behalf of a candidate.  But the ballot will probably be by write-in.

No one is going to volunteer to speak for Pataki or Gilmore. Walker and Bush will have precinct leaders everywhere. Cruz, Paul, and Kasich will have precinct leaders in most places.  Perry might have some.  He actually has some experience farming, and is a strong person-to-person campaigner.

Christie might have some, but his style doesn't fit Iowa.  Trump might have trouble organizing precinct leaders, but he can still get a lot of votes that will be reported, even if meaningless.

After the secret ballot, the precinct leaders for Walker and Bush will try to bulldoze the precinct, claiming that they need to stick together.  Campaigns like Cruz and Paul will resist (except in precincts where they might be in control), and push for a split delegation.  Any odd delegates for Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Graham, will probably go along.

Filing for the early primaries will be past, and they can wait until after New Hampshire and South Carolina to stop filing.

And at this point would an endorsement by any candidate who might withdraw matter?

69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Historical CD shapefiles (1789-2015). on: August 05, 2015, 06:52:13 pm
I wonder if that one district in Southeast Louisiana in the 1860's was actually still represented in Washington during the War or if its just a mistake.
It is two districts actually.

In that era, congressional elections were spread out over two years.  The 1st Congress met on March 4, 1789 and the originalists decided that meant that congressional and presidential terms would begin on that date.

This presented a problem for presidential elections, since electoral votes are counted by Congress, and if there were no majority, the House of Representatives would choose the president from among the top 5 candidates.  At the time it was anticipated that this would be the norm.

In 1789, the 1st Congress did not have quorums on March 4, so couldn't meet to count the electoral votes.  By the time they did get quorums, counted the votes, and determined that Washington had been elected, and for Washington to travel to New York City where Congress was meeting, it was June of 1789, three months into his term.

Congress determined that it would not be a good idea to have a presidential vacancy every four years, so they decided that the outgoing Congress would count the electoral votes, and if necessary the House would elect the president.

Congress is required under the Constitution to meet at least once per year, with a default of December.  Because no one wanted to be in Washington in the summer prior to air conditioning, a winter schedule worked well.

So the schedule was like this:

March 4, odd year, beginning of term.

9 months: Cicadas.

December, odd year, beginning of first session,
Winter-Spring, even year, first session, until work was done.

December, even year, beginning of second session.
Winter (until March 3), odd year, conclusion of second session.  If this was the beginning year of a presidential term, the electoral votes would be counted, and if necessary the House would elect the president.  The Jefferson-Burr election, and the Adams-Jackson-Crawford election were in early 1801 and 1825, respectively, and there was pressure to determine a president before March 4.

The House is not a continuing body, so it was impossible to continue past March 3, and impractical to begin a new session on March 4, with a potentially wholesale turnover.  The Senate is a continuing body, and in a very short session at the beginning of the first term of a new president would meet to consider the president's cabinet nominees.  The Senate may only meet for a short period without permission of the House.

Congress would then go home.

If the 37th Congress wouldn't actually meet until December 1861, it didn't necessarily make sense to hold congressional elections in the fall of 1860. Those already in office would meet in Washington in December 1860, even if they had been defeated.

It wasn't until summer of 1861, that Lincoln decided to call a special session of Congress.

The use of odd-year congressional elections was quite prevalent in the South. Only Arkansas and Florida had congressional elections in 1860, and none of those elected served in the 37th Congress.  Among border states, Missouri and Delaware had elections in 1860. Two of the Missouri representatives were expelled.

By the time most of the southern states would have held elections, the States had seceded.  In eastern Tennessee, they were able to barely organize elections in three districts.  One of the representative-elect was arrested and imprisoned on his way to Washington by the CSA, and another barely served at the end of the term.

The Wheeling government organized elections in the western portion of Virginia, and with the help of the USA military, in some areas opposite Washington.

New Orleans was occupied by USA troops in spring of 1862.  There was apparently enough control to hold an election, in December 1862. The two representatives were seated in February 1863, about two weeks before the end of their term.

There were elections in five districts in Louisiana in 1864, but Congress never acted to decide whether to seat those elected.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: FL: Rereredistricting on: August 05, 2015, 05:22:35 pm
Couldn't Graham run in FL-5?
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: FL: Rereredistricting on: August 05, 2015, 05:14:27 pm
Not that Corrine Brown will get her seat back, but I think she has a case against FL-05. Chopping Tallahassee that way gives her an opening. Granted, it would make FL-05 less black, but if she just wants to lash out, there are grounds now I think.
The Florida NAACP was an intervening defendant in the appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  We could still see a federal VRA challenge.

The Florida NAACP was also a sponsor of this lawsuit on a stick measure in the first place.  At the time, Brown got James Clyburn who was head of the Congressional Black Caucus at the time to complain to the national NAACP that their Florida branch was going to cost her seat by sponsoring the measure.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 05, 2015, 05:04:18 pm
I can't understand any of this either. One thing that would be relevant is consistency. If precincts have consistent patterns, and there is fraud, then the fraud must be replicated with remarkable consistency, election after election, in just about the same degree. And all over Kansas. It's remarkable that if such widespread fraud, somebody, somewhere would not have gone rogue, and revealed at least some individual instances.
It might be be hard to understand.  That's what I'll take it a step at a time.
You are familiar with cumulative vote share, ....

I have added a third sheet that accumulates the precincts in random order.

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

I used the RAND() function to generate a random number for each precinct, then fixed those values, and then sorted the precincts based on the random number. Thus I have used one of 250! (250 factorial) possible random orders.

As one should expect, the cumulative Republican percentage converges to the average value of 40.6% and stays there. The initial convergence takes a bit longer than I might have expected, but there are several factors that influence this.

There are only 250 precincts in Sedgwick County, and a relative large number are small. 41 have less than 200 registrants. The smaller precincts in Sedgwick County in general are not rural, but rather on the fringes of cities, where annexations have fragmented townships. Kansas requires that election precincts be contiguous, and conform to township and city boundaries, as well as legislative and other district boundaries.

With a small number of samples, the average for a sample is less likely to be near the mean of the total population. Flip a coin 10 times, and the chances that it will be heads between 45% and 55% of the time is about 1/4.  Flip a coin 1000 times, and the chances it will be heads between 45% and 55% of the time (between 450 and 550 heads) is almost a certainty. Note: ordering the precincts randomly is analogous to shuffling a decade of cards, since a precinct can only be counted once. The order of the remaining precincts is dependent on the order of the preceding precinct, since they can't be repeated. This is unlike rolling a die, where the same value can come up repeatedly.

While the precinct average is 40.6%, this is not a typical precinct. Precincts that are either more Republican or more Democratic are much more common. The histogram shows the percentage of total registrants who live in precincts with a particular GOP registration share. For example, 6.7% of the voters live in precincts that are 40% +/- 2.5% (37.5% to 42.5%).   

While 6.7% live in precincts that are about 40% Republican, 18.0% live in precincts that are roughly 50% Republican, and 13.9% live in precincts that are 30% Republican. The population is polarized with a Democratic maximum, and a Republican maximum on either side of the "average" precinct.

When accumulating results, it would be like rolling a die numbered: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7. That is the four is missing. No matter how many times you rolled the die, it would never land on 4. But the average roll would be a 4.0.  Because of the polarized results, convergence to the mean is slower.

There are some extremely Democratic precincts in Wichita (because they are predominately black). There are more precincts that are Republican than are Democratic, but the Democratic precincts tend to be more Democratic.  When adding the precincts in random order, the small number of extreme Democratic precincts will tend to be more sporadically distributed, which will cause the cumulative GOP share to take longer to converge on the mean.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Historical CD shapefiles (1789-2015). on: August 04, 2015, 08:17:50 pm
United States Congressional District Shapefiles

SmileySmileySmiley
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: FL: Rereredistricting on: August 04, 2015, 08:08:38 pm
It would be great if you would just post the kmz or doj file for your plan. It would be interesting to know what the partisan election numbers are for every district. I notice that you added the liberal Gainesville area to Gwen Graham's district so partisan election data would be particularly interesting there.
They are using Dave's Redistricting App (DRA).

DRA does have the ability to export lists of VTDs to a csv file. They could send you the csv file to convert.

This article describes how to convert that csv file into shapefiles, and into kmz files

I have not yet found documentation for the doj format. I have requested information about the format from the USDOJ.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Kansas Elections Explained on: August 04, 2015, 07:31:43 pm
I can't understand any of this either. One thing that would be relevant is consistency. If precincts have consistent patterns, and there is fraud, then the fraud must be replicated with remarkable consistency, election after election, in just about the same degree. And all over Kansas. It's remarkable that if such widespread fraud, somebody, somewhere would not have gone rogue, and revealed at least some individual instances.
It might be be hard to understand.  That's what I'll take it a step at a time.
You are familiar with cumulative vote share, if you have watched election night returns.  As the night wears on, the share of the anticipated total votes cast will be reported, along with the share of the votes for the candidate.

"With 8% of precincts reporting, Senator Bugtussle leads with 52% of the vote".

Assuming you are familiar with Pennsylvania, you will know the early cumulative vote will be extremely Democratic.  That is because Philadelphia reports first.  As the night goes on the Republican share will continue to climb, because everywhere in the state is more Republican than Philadelphia.

In some states, the cumulative candidate share will increase or decrease, and we can trace that to a vote dump from a particularly liberal or conservative county.

I have updated the spreadsheet to include the cumulative vote, and a chart of the vote (2nd Sheet)

Sedgwick County spreadsheet

The precincts were accumulated in alphabetical order. In Sedgwick County, this introduces a geographical bias, because the numbered precincts are in the city of Wichita ('bias' is used in a statistical sense, not a sociological sense).

Within Wichita, the precincts are numbered by Wichita City Council district (PDF)

District 1 is in northeast Wichita, and includes the highest concentration of blacks.  As these precincts are added in, the Republican registration share drops to 24.0% at about 33,000 registered voters.

District 2 is in eastern Wichita, and is a newer area (you can tell on the map by which areas have quarter sections, and which have mostly full sections, and which have a lot of curving streets). By about 72,000 the cumulative GOP share has increased to 36.2%.

District 3 in southern Wichita.  Wichita appears to have developed on a north/south axis parallel to the Arkansas (and Little Arkansas) rivers. It has some quite large floodways which suggest flooding in some of these areas.  The highest concentration of Hispanics is to the northwest of downtown, but there is a secondary concentration towards the south. This suggests that the area was historically more of a working class white area. The cumulative GOP share drops to 33.6% at about 98,000.

District 4 is in southwest Wichita. It appears to be a mix of areas, and divided up by freeways and airbase.  The western extent is along US 34, so there may be areas lined with motor courts, etc. The cumulative GOP share inches up to 34.4% at about 129,000.

District 5 is in far west Wichita. It is clearly a newly developing area.  The GOP share increases to 38.2% at about 170,000.

District 6 is in northwestern Wichita. It causes the GOP share to drop a bit to 37.8%, at around 201,000. Regardless of the order in which we would add the Wichita precincts, we would always end up at this point.

Then finally we add in the area outside Wichita. Precinct IDs have a two-letter prefix indicating a city or township followed by a two digit number, so we begin with 'AF' for Afton and continue through 'WA' for Waco. As we would expect, the areas outside the city are more Republican and bring the final total up to 40.6%.

Districts 2 and 5, as well as the area outside Wichita are about 48% Republican (46% for District 2, 50% for District 5, and 49% for outside the city). As we would expect the areas that are added in last have less of an effect. This is the same thing that happens on election night, when 95% of the vote is in, and a candidate has 46.1% of the vote in a two-way race. We know he has lost, because the last five percent of votes can't change the result. If he is at 46.1%, with 5% counted, we know it is too early to know. If he is at 46.1% with 50% of the votes counted, he will assure his supporters that our best boxes are still out.

As it turned out the Sedgwick county election server crashed twice on election night in November 2014. If the precinct results had to be physically transported to a central location, we might expect that the results from close to the election commission office would be received first, and initial results would skew Democratic. If the server crashed, and then the Republican precincts from further out were added in, leftist hacks might claim conspiracy, particularly if they get a mathematician with a PhD in statistics to prove their suspicions.
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