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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maps of Current State Houses and Senates on: December 05, 2014, 01:55:47 am
The House will be 79-58 D, with 4 Unenrolled (Independent) candidates being elected (two of them are designated as Unenrolled and two as Independent, which seems silly to me).
Shouldn't that be 79-68-4?
Yes.  I've fixed it.

The combined House and Senate, which elects the Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Treasurer (also State Auditor, but only in Presidential Election years), will be either 93 D, 87 R and 4 U/I (exactly half D) or 94 D, 86 R and 4 U/I (narrowest possibly D majority), depending on which Senate District 25 candidate serves in the opening day of the Legislature on December 3 (after which the Legislature recesses until January, although some committees may meet later in December).
93D-89R-4I or 94D-88R-4I (no?)
Right again.  I don't know what was up with me that night.
Interesting results for the State Treasurer race.  I could not find any vote counts, other than it was by secret ballot.

Phantom Ballots of Long Island

The results for SD 25 are very curious.   It turns out that the 171 ballots were tallied and bundled in batches of 50, with 21 in a final odd-lot batch.

During the recount, an additional 21 ballots were found bundled with the 21 ballots tallied on election night.  It does not appear that the 21 additional ballots were identified, but rather simply that Manchester received 21 more votes than shown on the tally sheet.

Since they were hand-counted paper ballots, I'd expect that a forensic investigation might be able to determine which ballots are new.

Long Island is the only town in the district that hand counts ballots.   But there were some other mysteries, such as lost ballots from Westbrook, and 3 vote switches on machine-counted ballots in Gray.
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: December 03, 2014, 04:16:18 am
Let's add to the discussion the I in SPICE: Inequality.

Definition: Quota. The quota is the total population of a state divided by the number of districts rounded to the nearest whole number.
Definition: Deviation. The deviation is the difference between the population of a district and the quota. Negative numbers indicate a district that has a population that is smaller than the quota.
Definition: Range. The range is the difference in population between the largest and smallest district in a plan.
Definition: Average Deviation. The average deviation is the average of the absolute values of the deviations for all districts in a plan.

Background: SCOTUS has set two different standards for districts. Legislative and local districts must be substantially equal and that has been interpreted to be a range not exceeding 10% of the quota. Congressional districts must be as equal as practicable, and for some time that was assumed to mean that only exact equality would do. However, the recent WV case makes it clear that a range of up to 1% of the quota is acceptable when driven by other neutral redistricting factors. Greater than 1% might also be acceptable, but 10% would presumably not be because that is set by a different standard. It's an evolving area in the law.

Item 6. All plans must have a range not exceeding 1% of the quota. For VA the quota is 727,366 and the maximum range would be 7,273.

Background: Some time ago there were some threads that tried to optimize the population equality of districts with no county splits. The result of that exercise was the following graph.



Each square represents a state. New England states used towns instead of counties, and states with counties too large for a district assumed that a whole number of counties would nest inside the large county. The more counties available per district, the closer to equality one could achieve, and the relation is logarithmic in population. The green line represents the best fit to the data. Data for average deviation can be fit as well, but the result is not substantially different other than the scale factor that has the average deviation equal to about 1/4 the range.

The average state has about 72 counties and if one divides that number into 2, 3, 4, etc. districts then one can use the fit from the data in the graph to predict a likely range. That in turn can be built into a table.

Item 7. The INEQUALITY score for a plan is found by taking the range for a plan and comparing it to the table below.

RangeInequality
0-10
2-101
11-1002
101-4003
401-9004
901-16005
1601-24006
2401-32007
3201-40008
4001-48009
4801-560010
5601-630011
6301-700012
7001-770013



I'd like discussion/voting to conclude by Friday 12/5 at 11:59 pm EST.
There is no reason for such a tight limit on range since it leads to gratuitous chops and gerrymandering.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where would Hawaii's third Congressional District be? on: December 02, 2014, 12:24:13 am
If in the 2020 census, Hawaii's population grows a good bit, and a third congressional district is needed, where it would be?
Imagine if Hawaii had redistricted after the 2010 census, and then Congress decided to give them a 3rd seat (this has happened before, following the 1870 census),

If Hawaii wanted to preserve the core of its existing districts (or alternatively the core of the incumbent's support) it would let each representative choose 2/3 of his current population.  The remaining 1/3 of each would be lumped together into the 3rd open seat. 

Alternatively, it could take the Oahu district, HI-1, split it in half and give each half 1/6 of the HI-2.  Then fast forward 10 years and adjust the lines.

Based on 2010 numbers, one district would be 86% Neighbor islands, and 14% on Oahu (which is 6.5% of the population of Oahu).   So it would likely be on the north shore away from Honolulu.   Take the remainder, start in the southeast and continue westward until you reach enough population.

Currently the Neighbor islands have a small majority (57%) of HI-2, but would have 86% of a 3-district plan.  In 2014, about 64% of the vote was from the Neighbor Islands (there is a large military presence in Hawaii, and many don't vote vote in Hawaii, or vote at all).
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: December 01, 2014, 01:36:52 pm
The Ohio thing failed because of the wording of the description Husted forced the measure to use at a point so close to the printing of the ballots that there wasn't time for any sort of legal challenge, IIRC.  He forced it to use wording that left most voters confused about what it would actually do.  I think we can all agree that 99.99% of voters didn't vote for or against that measure because of concerns about what type of district you could draw for Cuyahoga County without splitting counties.  As for Arizona, while the map was basically a pretty fair map.  Four safe Republican seats, two safe Democratic seats, one competitive seat that has a small Democratic tilt, and two competitive seats with a slight Republican tilt seems like about what you'd expect from a fair Arizona map.  It just happened that a fair map benefited Democrats more in Arizona just as it would have benefited Republicans more had their been a truly independent redistricting commission in Illinois. 
Husted was not Secretary of State in 2005.

It failed because the proponents produced a map which had "competitive" districts running across the state.   These maps were published in editorials by newspapers opposing the measure.
55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: December 01, 2014, 01:20:16 pm
AZ suffered from the mandate of competitiveness, not its inclusion. Since the commission was compelled to maximize the number of competitive districts, they were sensitive to a data set that was prone to skew their resulting districts. The maps produced by the opponents of the 2005 OH initiative also used the maximization of competitive districts to get strange results. The competing initiatives in 2010 which did not reach the ballot used political data as part of a mix of factors and did not prioritize it in a way that was likely to warp the final plan.
IIRC, the illustrative map in Ohio was not produced by the opponents.
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 30, 2014, 11:36:20 pm
Since no commissioners have weighed in on the items before the commission, I'm not sure how to proceed. The process will drag out, and there will probably be a lack of interest if things don't keep moving. Commissioners morgieb, Miles, Del Tachi, and ElectionsGuy have all posted to the Atlas since Items 4 and 5 were posted, but not on those items. Only Fuzzybigfoot has been off since 11/26, and that's why there are two alternates: X and SLCValleyMan. Any feedback into how to get this on track is welcomed.
If the Virginia commission were operating under the terms of the Florida constitution, items 4 and 5 would be outlawed since they are politically-based.

The current litigation in Florida was whether or not the legislature was indirectly influenced to make political decisions.   The problem in Florida is that the legislature is a political body, and you would hope that they would be susceptible to political arguments.

In Britain, where the boundary commissions are independent, public representations by political parties are quite acceptable and ordinary, but they have to be cast in terms that the commission can recognize, such as communities of interest.

I would suggest that items 4 and 5 not be used directly by the commission, but that we (the forum community) use them as metrics for the process as a whole.

I included them as measures since political data is explicitly required by the AZ commission and were part of the proposal for an OH commission. Good government groups I've spoken with are divided as to the need to use or forbid the use of the political measures of a plan. Personally, I think that clever mappers will find a way to gain a political advantage even with extensive neutral rules (see MI). Political measures provide one means to determine if the rules have been gamed.

However, it is because of the political nature of this data that I placed SKEW and POLARIZATION as after-the-fact measures in Item 3. They can not be used to exclude a plan, but can be used to guide the commission's final selection. I also believe that commissioners will have inherent biases towards certain plans and the political data simply provides a check on those inherent biases.
In Arizona, the use of the rule may have led to skewing of the results.  With so much of the population in a few counties, it is unlikely that but for that measure the competitive seats would tend to be underpopulated.

And it may be contrary to good representation.   Putting Cuyahoga and Holmes counties into a single district does not lead to good representative, even if it somehow led to a competitive race.  The representative can not be representative of the district, nor effectively represent the district since its interests are so disparate.  The initial redistricting initiative in Ohio may have failed because of the maps  that were produced showing you can get a long way from Cleveland without splitting counties.
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 30, 2014, 01:04:36 pm
Since no commissioners have weighed in on the items before the commission, I'm not sure how to proceed. The process will drag out, and there will probably be a lack of interest if things don't keep moving. Commissioners morgieb, Miles, Del Tachi, and ElectionsGuy have all posted to the Atlas since Items 4 and 5 were posted, but not on those items. Only Fuzzybigfoot has been off since 11/26, and that's why there are two alternates: X and SLCValleyMan. Any feedback into how to get this on track is welcomed.
If the Virginia commission were operating under the terms of the Florida constitution, items 4 and 5 would be outlawed since they are politically-based.

The current litigation in Florida was whether or not the legislature was indirectly influenced to make political decisions.   The problem in Florida is that the legislature is a political body, and you would hope that they would be susceptible to political arguments.

In Britain, where the boundary commissions are independent, public representations by political parties are quite acceptable and ordinary, but they have to be cast in terms that the commission can recognize, such as communities of interest.

I would suggest that items 4 and 5 not be used directly by the commission, but that we (the forum community) use them as metrics for the process as a whole.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Scottish and Orange Irish Ancestry on: November 30, 2014, 12:19:44 am
I've always been under the impression that the term "WASP" was only really relevant in the North, and particularly the North East, in dichotomy with the waves of Irish, Southern, and Eastern Europeans who flocked to the region in the late 19th Century and their decedents.

In the South, the term isn't really relevant, considering that it arguably applies to almost the entirety of the white population of Southern Stock. 

I suppose that saying that southern whites are 'WASPs' is sort of like saying that southerners of Cherokee ancestry are 'mestizo'. It fits the technical definition, but it's not relevant to the society in question

A good hunk of southerners are Scottish or Scots-Irish.
The Anglo-Saxons kingdoms included much of Scotland.  Northumberland went way north of the Humber.  Scots English was not English that developed in the south and then moved north.  It developed contemporaneously.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 29, 2014, 10:35:39 pm
Is there a way to get county splits in DRA?

I was going to increase the number of CDs, then color the extra "CDs" for the county parts.  This should give me demographic and political data for the split county parts.

But when I increment the number of districts, all the existing districts disappear.

Unfortunately no. The best I've found is to either reserve many additional districts and keep track of the real quota on my own spreadsheet, or to make a number of separate DRA files after the fact to highlight the chops.

There is one shortcut to all this that I've used quite effectively. Once the map is complete, I double check with the Find Unassigned Dists tool. After everything is assigned I can unassign any county fragment and look at the demographics of both the fragment and the remaining district. It can be time consuming for a lot of fragments, but it avoids clearing the original map.
I figured out a way.

Under file: Save VTD data as CSV,

This creates a CSV file.   For each VTD, there is the Census ID, District Assignment, VTD name, and County (or City), followed by the demographic and political data for the VTD.

I calculated my statistics for my CDs from the similar Save CD data as CSV.   It would seem useful to have people submit the CD CSV file to you, or maybe set up something on Google apps.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 29, 2014, 09:13:08 pm
Is there a way to get county splits in DRA?

I was going to increase the number of CDs, then color the extra "CDs" for the county parts.  This should give me demographic and political data for the split county parts.

But when I increment the number of districts, all the existing districts disappear.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 29, 2014, 04:08:32 am
Initial Submission



There are four split counties/independent cities: Cheasapeake city; Chesterfield County; Fairfax County; and Loudoun County.   The split of Fairfax County is necessary because of its size.  The others are reasonable because they help confine districts to urban areas.


Newport News-Hampton-Poquoson-Portsmouth-Norfolk is about 8% short of a CD, so I added the South Norfolk area of Cheasapeake IC.  Norfolk and Portsmouth were both formed from Norfolk County.  The independent city of South Norfolk was created in 1921.  In 1963 South Norfolk and the remainder of Norfolk County merged to form the city of Cheasapeake.

The area included in the VA-10 is generally inside the Hampton Roads Beltway (I-64).



The area of Chesapeake placed in VA-10 is 27.7% of the city, 8.4% of the CD, it is slightly more Black than the CD as a whole (42.5% vs 41.6%), and slightly less Obama-supporting (66.2% vs 67.6%)


CD Population CD Pop. % County % CD    White   Black   Hisp.  Asian  AIAN   Other  2-way  Obama    McCain
10    61549   730192   27.7%    8.4%   48.8%   42.5%   5.1%   1.7%   0.4%   1.6%   27241   66.2%   33.8%
11   160660   728792   72.3%   22.0%   67.8%   23.6%   3.2%   3.5%   0.3%   1.6%   79378   45.3%   54.7%
     222209           100.0%           62.5%   28.8%   3.7%   3.0%   0.3%   1.6%  106619   50.6%   49.4%


Henrico-Hanover-Richmond is about 16% short of a CD.   The area added from Chesterfield County generally extends outward from the part of Richmond south of the James River.



VA-5 includes Arlington County, Alexandria, Falls Church, and the east part of Fairfax County, generally south of Washington, as opposed to west of Washington.

The area included is generally inside the Beltway, except on the west in the McLean area, or east of I-95 southward along the Potomac.   The western boundary is generally Lorton-Newington-Springfield-Annandale-Jefferson-Falls Church-Arlington County.



Loudoun plus Prince William (including Manassas and Manassas Park) have an excess of 5.4%.  The 13 county area to the south has a deficit of 7.3% (for a collective deficit of 1.9%).   Splitting the difference, an area with about 6.4% of CD needs to be split off.   This is roughly 15% of the total population of Loudoun County.

The area detached Loudoun County is in the less developed portion of the county, west of US-15 and Leesburg.



Statistics (right click, view image to make readable size).



Population Equality

Mean Absolute Deviation: 0.61%; Standard Deviation 0.65%; Range 1.76%.

Political:

Republican Uncompetitive (5): 1, 2, 3, 7, 9.
Republican Competitive (1): 11
Even (0):
Democratic Competitive (3): 4, 6, 8
Democratic Uncompetitive (2): 5, 10

Skew: Statewide(0) - Republican(6) + Democratic(5) = -1
Polarization: Even(0)*0 + Competitive(4)*1 + Uncompetitive(7)*2 = 18
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Scottish and Orange Irish Ancestry on: November 29, 2014, 02:03:49 am
I've always been under the impression that the term "WASP" was only really relevant in the North, and particularly the North East, in dichotomy with the waves of Irish, Southern, and Eastern Europeans who flocked to the region in the late 19th Century and their decedents.

In the South, the term isn't really relevant, considering that it arguably applies to almost the entirety of the white population of Southern Stock. 

I suppose that saying that southern whites are 'WASPs' is sort of like saying that southerners of Cherokee ancestry are 'mestizo'. It fits the technical definition, but it's not relevant to the society in question
According to Wikipedia, the term WASP did not come into use until the mid-20th century - its first bublished used was in 1957. and was used by sociologists to describe the elite in the northeast.   And it it was true that "W" stood for wealthy, it would exclude most southerners, regardless of race or ethnicity.
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 27, 2014, 07:49:37 pm


This is based on maintaining Urban County Clusters, and limiting the splitting of counties.  As I had done for the UCC definition, I used the original counties, subject to annexations of independent cities into adjoining counties.

For that purpose - the following pairings are used: Lynchburg-Campbell County, Galax-Carroll County, Radford-Montgomery County, Alexandria-Arlington County, Falls Church-Fairfax-Fairfax County, Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania County, Richmond-Henrico County, Dinwiddie-Petersburg, Colonial Heights-Chesterfield County, Hopewell-Prince George County, Franklin-Southampton County, Williamsburg-James City County, Poquoson-York County, Norfolk-Portsmouth-Cheasapeake (Norfolk County).

Newport News, Hampton, Virgnia Beach, have annexed the entirety of their original counties of Warwick, Elizabeth City, Princess Anne, and Nasemond counties, respectively.

There are 3 large UCC's in Virginia that cover multiple counties, Washington (NOVA), Richmond, and Hampton Roads.  Each requires more than one congressional district.

The three large UCC's isolate the area along the James, York, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers.  Shifting the southern extension of the Washington UCC (Stafford, Fredericksburg IC, Spotsylvania) to this district along with James City and York from the Hampton Roads UCC, and wrapping around the Richmond UCC got the necessary population.

The remainder of the Washington UCC had a population of 3.067, and I considered using a maximum deviation of 2.5%.

Adding in the two Delmarva counties, put the Hampton Roads area at 1.996.  I had considered going across Cheasapeake Bay, but this would not get better population equality.

The Richmond UCC had a population equivalent to about 1.5 CD so I kept adding into the Southside until there was enough population for two districts.

I then drew the three western districts.  It turned out that the last only had a population of 0.927.   I had a large surplus in the Washington area, but did not systematically create a deficit elsewhere, and the deficit ended up in one district.  Arguably, the 3-district Washington area with its deviation of 0.067 had a systematic error, since it would have required all 3 districts to be close to the 2.5% limit.   Combining the 3-district area with the northern area gives a population of 3.994.

Shifting a few counties resulted in all 6 regions within 1%, including the multi-district regions.

I then noticed that the Fairfax County-Arlington County-Fairfax-Falls Church-Alexandria area had a population of 2.013, and the remainder 1.981.   This will permit creation of four districts within 1% error.

This will require a single split of Fairfax County, rather than two, and chopping off a chunk of Loudoun or Prince William counties.

In the Hampton Roads area, there will likely be a split of Norfolk, with most of the city added to Newport News-Hampton-Portsmouth, and the other district wrapping around south of Nortfolk and Portsmouth.

A case could be made that the split of York County and Poquoson is a chop.

A split of Chesterfield County is likely necessary in the Richmond area.  The total population of Chesterfield County-Henrico County-Richmond is 1.138, and trying to reach around from Richmond to south of the James, displaces other districts.  Splitting Chesterfield will keep the Southside district somewhat remote from Richmond.
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Scottish and Orange Irish Ancestry on: November 27, 2014, 03:58:21 am
Trying to apply a strict genetic test to WASP-hood, which is a sociocultural construct never used by the people to whom it is applied, is futile.

If one must be of non-Catholic British Isles descent to be a WASP, must one also be wealthy? Must one have attended an Ivy League school? Would a strong liberal arts college like Amherst or Swarthmore be acceptable? Is there a minimum net worth requirement?

Would the du Pont family of Delaware qualify as WASPs? They are of Huguenot French, rather than English, stock, and they came to America in the early 19th century, which is "late" compared to the colonial Mayflower settlers. Same story with the Rockefellers, who are of German ancestry and came to America well after the Revolutionary War.
Certainly not John D.'s father Bill, who was a traveling salesman (elixirs), abandoned his family, and was a bigamist under an assumed name.

John D. graduated from a business college.

His only son, John D., Jr., went to Brown.

His sons all went to Ivy League schools: John D III (Princeton), Nelson (Dartmouth), Laurence (Princeton), Winthrop (Yale, but expelled), David (Harvard)

The 4th generation includes John D IV (Jay) Harvard, Nelson's 4 sons: Dartmouth+Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, and Princeton; David's sons: Harvard and Harvard Medical (I don't know if his BA is from Harvard).   The only exception is Winthrop's son, who went to TCU (so being expelled from Yale, and moving to Arkansas, must de-WASP you.

So by the time, WASP's began being called WASP''s they would have been. 
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Scottish and Orange Irish Ancestry on: November 26, 2014, 02:28:36 pm
This is a question I've been curious about for a while.  Although I dislike the term "WASP" (partially because it's so frequently used as a slur), I've been wondering: could people of Scottish or Irish Protestant ancestry be considered WASPs if they don't also have English ancestry?  I'd like to get some opinions on this.
WASP is a modern term, and may have original stood for Wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestants (particularly Episcopalian).   That is, it referred to the dominant elite in the northeast who ran the corporations, sent their children to prep school and the Ivies.  While this group may have regarded themselves as superior, they likely would not have used to describe themselves or others (they wouldn't say "she is not a WASP", but "she's Catholic" or "she's Jewish" or "he's German", or "he goes to public school"

"Anglo-Saxon" has broadened to mean English-speaking, particularly in reference to the special relationship between Britain and the US (plus Canada, Australia, etc.).
66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maps of Current State Houses and Senates on: November 26, 2014, 02:03:32 pm
Here's a combination of the two (weighted 50% each on percentage of R/D)

Strongest D's are HI and DC (>90%), MA and RI (>80%), and Maryland (>70%)
Strongest R's are UT, WY, and ID (>80%), and OK, KS, SD, ND, TN, and IN (>70%)

DC should only be 80% D.  City council is 13D and 2 I.

Oh, thanks. I just assumed they were all D because... well, its DC.

There are seats on the DC Council that are essentially reserved for non-Democrats.  I'm having a hard time figuring out whether this is actually in statute or whether it's just a consequence of the primary system DC has.
The district charter limits any party from nominating more than one candidate for the two at-large seats that are open at each election.  There are four at-large seats, two elected every 2 years, for a four-year term.

So on the ballot this year, there was one Democrat, one Libertarian, one Statehood Green, one Republican, and 11 independents.  Voters could vote for no more than two candidate.

24% of total votes were undervotes, which could mean that 24% of voters skipped the race, or 48% only voted for one candidate, or somewhere in between.  For example 10% skipped the race, and 28% voted for only a single candidate.

The Democrat was easily elected with votes from 48% of voters, and one independent was elected with votes from 24% of voters.   The Green finished 6th (behind 4 independents), the Republican 9th, and the Libertarian 14th (ahead of one independent).
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maps of Current State Houses and Senates on: November 26, 2014, 02:30:51 am
2014 State Senates:



R Pickups: CO, ME, NV, VA, WV

What shade is used if one candidate (or one party in this case) has exactly 60%?  Because if the disputed recount result in Senate District 25 holds in Maine (and given that the new, Republican State Senate will be the final arbiter, it probably will), the Maine Senate will be 21-14 R.
I would use 60% to 64.999...% or 60% to 69.999% or whatever.  You would ordinarily characterize a party as having support in the low 60s, whether it was 63% or 60.1%.  It seems pretty arbitrary to require one additional vote.

The House will be 79-58 D, with 4 Unenrolled (Independent) candidates being elected (two of them are designated as Unenrolled and two as Independent, which seems silly to me).
Shouldn't that be 79-68-4?

The Maine Legislature website shows 2 Independent (Campbell and Chipman), 2 Unenrolled (Evangelos and Brooks).

The Secretary of State candidate's list for this election shows, Campbell, Chipman, and Evangelos as Independent, and Brooks as Unenrolled.  Campbell, Chipman, and Evangelos were re-elected, while Brooks was defeated.   An additional "Independent", Sukeforth in HD 95 was elected.

I could not find anything in the SOS guidance for non-party candidates, other than the candidates could provide a description of their party or platform.  My guess is that the candidates chose "Independent", as it is more modern sounding.  Perhaps Brooks was more of a traditionalist who didn't think that "Unenrolled" had a pejorative cast to it, but Evangelos seemed to switch.   Maybe there had been a concern about a conflict with "Green Independent", since you can't use the name of a qualified party in your description.

The combined House and Senate, which elects the Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Treasurer (also State Auditor, but only in Presidential Election years), will be either 93 D, 87 R and 4 U/I (exactly half D) or 94 D, 86 R and 4 U/I (narrowest possibly D majority), depending on which Senate District 25 candidate serves in the opening day of the Legislature on December 3 (after which the Legislature recesses until January, although some committees may meet later in December).
93D-89R-4I or 94D-88R-4I (no?)

Recent practice has been for the apparent winner in the election night count (so in this case, the Democrat) to serve on Opening Day, but in those recent cases there were enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.  In this case, the disputed ballots aren't enough to change the outcome (and weren't all potential votes for the D in any case), but the 21 "phantom ballots" (as some Democrats are calling them; see the article) would, and they all went for the Republican.  There were also apparently 10 ballots that were counted on election night in a couple of towns that weren't there for the recount.  And I know that on the day of the recount people had to go down to Westbrook to pick up a box of ballots that was still there.  So it's a mess, basically.
But IRV will fix all this Wink

The Phantom Ballots of Long Island

At least three of the 4 Unenrolled/Independent State Representatives are on the liberal side of the spectrum (although one is a former Green from Portland whose chief competition every two years comes from Democrats), and they could help shore up the Democratic Constitutional Officers, but defections are not unheard of.  It's a secret ballot, although I've read in the past that Legislators are given ballots with the name of each candidate on them and that Democratic leadership in 2004 (when the Democrats had narrow majorities in each chamber) collected (individually, the writer seemed to suggest) the unused ballots of Democratic Legislators to guard against defections.  Even there, I've read that the Republicans would have won at least one of the four positions if some Republican legislators facing long drives north hadn't left early (in another contest, I read that some Democrats would have defected if not for the Republican absences that made it so the Democrat would have been elected regardless).  I did read about the collection of unused ballots by Democratic leadership and would have been Republican victories in 2004 on a conservative web forum, however.

Governor LePage talked up Elliot Cutler for Attorney General after his reelection, but I'm not sure if Cutler is interested.  Attorney General Janet Mills may not be worried, as Secretary of State Matt Dunlap was cited as saying that while he thought the Democrat should be seated on opening day, the Attorney General thought the Republican should.  Not that elected (including indirectly elected) officials necessary act out of self interest but it does suggest that the AG feels she has 94 solid votes even without the District 25 Senator.  I figured the Secretary of State, a "northern Maine" (Old Town) Democrat who hunts and was actually head of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine for about a year after he lost his position after the 2010 Republican takeover, was the safest of the three Democrats facing a Legislative election on December 3, but maybe he isn't.  We'll just have to wait and see.
Reading the Maine Constitution, it appears that the Governor has the authority to examine returns prepared by the Secretary of State, and issue summons to the senators-elect and representatives-elect.

In Florida, where there is a messed up House race, the SOS made a report to the House (operating under temporary rules) as to the election results.  A motion was made to accept the results for all of the districts except that one as prime facie evidence of election, which then let the members-elect take the oath of office.   After that, they made a formal decision to reject thre results completely, which caused the seat to be vacant and a special election called.

I don't see anything in the Maine Constitution about making all the decisions on the first day of the session.   The constitution requires convening on the first Wednesday in December.  There is nothing about skipping town for the next month.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 06:23:39 pm
Here's my initial Virginia map.

District 1 (Blue)
  • Deviation: 290
  • Election 2008: John McCain - 54.4%, Barack Obama - 44.7%
  • Racial Breakdown: 73% White, 15.3% Black, 6.2% Hispanic

District 2 (Green)
  • Deviation: -422
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 49.8%, John McCain - 49.4%
  • Racial Breakdown: 62.6% White, 23.3% Black, 5.9% Hispanic

District 3 (Purple)
  • Deviation: -30
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 64%, John McCain - 35.2%
  • Racial Breakdown: 48.8% White, 35.2% Black, 5.9% Hispanic

District 4 (Red)
  • Deviation: 83
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 67.6%, John McCain - 31.7%
  • Racial Breakdown: 51.8% Black, 39.3% White, 5.2% Hispanic

District 5 (Yellow)
  • Deviation: -903
  • Election 2008: John McCain - 51.2%, Barack Obama - 47.8%
  • Racial Breakdown: 71.7% White, 21.5% Black

District 6 (Teal)
  • Deviation: 586
  • Election 2008: John McCain - 56.4%, Barack Obama - 42.5%
  • Racial Breakdown: 83.9% White, 7.9% Black, 5.1% Hispanic

District 7 (Silver)
  • Deviation: 352
  • Election 2008: John McCain - 57.9%, Barack Obama - 41.3%
  • Racial Breakdown: 76.2% White, 13.1% Black

District 8 (Slate Blue)
  • Deviation: 384
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 68.2%, John McCain - 30.9%
  • Racial Breakdown: 52.8% White, 12.9% Black, 18.2% Hispanic 19.7%, 11.5% Asian

District 9 (Light Blue)
  • Deviation: 501
  • Election 2008: John McCain - 59.5%, Barack Obama - 39.1%
  • Racial Breakdown: 91.8% White

District 10 (Pink)
  • Deviation: -219
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 57.4%, John McCain - 41.9%
  • Racial Breakdown: 61.4% White, 6.2% Black, 11.6% Hispanic, 17.3% Asian

District 11 (Light Green)
  • Deviation: -624
  • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 58%, John McCain - 41.3%
  • Racial Breakdown: 51.3% White, 14.8% Black, 18.2% Hispanic, 12% Asian

-Clean Majority-Minority district (VA-03), along with a black majority district (VA-04)

Why don't your racial percentages don't total to 100%?
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: November 21, 2014, 06:25:11 pm
Some visualization is in order.

This is based on the current 5 wards, each electing one alderman.   The voting strength of each alderman is proportional to the population of their ward.   The weights are calculated such that they sum to 1000, so that one unit corresponds to 0.1% of the population (6.403 persons).

For example, the alderman from Ward 1, which has 12.03% of the population has 120 votes. Normalization makes it easy to convert to percentages.   For example, a majority of 501 votes is 50.1% of the total votes.

I am using the erroneous populations used to calculate the current weights because it would confuse matters to switch to the correct populations, and might lead to the conclusion that a set of particular populations causes the problem.   The problem is more fundamental.  Weighted voting does not work well, if at all, with small bodies.

Consider the case of a 3-member body.   Under unweighted voting, any combination of two members prevails on any vote.   To change this dynamic via weighted voting, we would have to create situations where a single member could prevail, or alternatively where all 3 members would be required.

But if Adams voting for a measure causes it to prevail, and Brown and Cook can not prevail, then Adams is a dictator, and Brown and Cook are mere observers (example Adams 51, Brown 28, Cook 21).

If the votes of the three members are weighted such that it requires 2 members to prevail (for example: Adams 44, Brown 32, Cook 24; Adams+Brown:Cook = 76:24;  Adams+Cook:Brown = 68:32; Brown+Cook:Adams 56:44; then the dynamics are identical to an unweighted system where each member had one vote.  If the weights were based on population, you simply have a system of grossly non-equipopulous districts, where Adams' district has an excess population of 32%, and Cook's district is 28% underpopulated.  The weights in this case would be tissue paper attempting to hide a OMOV violation.

In a 5-member body it is slightly better.   In an unweighted system, any combination of 3 members will prevail.   To change the dynamics, you have to make it possible for some combinations of two members to prevail (which also mean that the other 3 members can not block the action, or prevail in their own right).   While this is possible, there is a risk that the two most powerful members could become too powerful.  If the two can get together and make deals, they would be able to win every vote.

If the weights are such that only 3-member combinations can prevail, and all 3-member combinations prevail, then again you are back to non-equipopulous districts with equal voting power.   This can also happen in a larger body. Cortland County has a 17-member legislature, in which any 9-members can prevail, even those from the 9 smallest districts, yet each member has a weighted vote (the same as their district's population).  Cortland County could give each member one vote and a glass of water, and the results would be the same (save if the water led to clearer thinking).

The following table shows the voting power of the 5 ward alderman, if they had a voting weight proportional to their population.



Ward 1 has a population of 770, which is 12.03% of the total.  There voting weight is 120, which is 12.00% of the total.  There is, as we would expect, extremely good conformance between population and voting weight.  The small relative error (0.21%) is due to rounding.

There would be two voting combinations where the alderman from Ward 1 would be critical. The combination would prevail, but if he withdrew his support, it would fail.   His vote was necessary for the combination to prevail.   In the other 14 possible combinations in which the alderman voted Aue, either the combination would not have a majority and fail, or his support would be superfluous.  For example, if the vote was unanimous, it would not matter that the alderman from Ward 1 switched to No.  It would still have 88%.

There are 22 critical votes among all 5 alderman.  The Ward 1 alderman's share would be 2/22 or 9.09%.  This is his relative Banzhaf index, or voting power share.  Comparing 9.09% his voting power share, to the 12.02% population share, results in a -24.40% deviation.

Overall among the five aldermen, the range of deviations is -54.56% to 63.97%, for a total range of 118.53%, which is extremely outside the generally accepted limits of 10% for local governments.  The standard deviation is 42.55%, and RMS is 52.23%, which are quite poor (we would expect something around 3% or so).   The RMS takes into account the population of the wards.   In this case, the error is largest wards is the greatest, so a relatively large share of the voters is excessively advantaged (Ward 5) or excessively disadvantaged (Wards 2 and 3).

The small number of critical votes (22) makes it an extremely coarse measurement of power.  If the alderman from Ward 1 increased his critical votes from 2 to 3, his power share would increase from 9.09% to 13.63%.   The relative deviation would go from a deficit of -24.40%, to an excess of 13.39%.   Closer, but not close.  It would like measuring someone who is 5'7" as either 5 foot of 6 foot.   6 foot is the better answer, but not a very good answer.

This coarseness is directly related to the small number of members.  Even if all members had an equal vote, the number of critical combinations is 30 (I suspect this is a theoretical maximum for a five member body).   Using the current weights for the 11-member Common Council, there are 2224 critical votes (this ignores the quite dubious assumption that the aldermen from a ward will vote opposite each other half the time, and that a voter from a ward has power when his two aldermen are cancelling each other out, and loses power if they were to agree).

It may also be quite difficult to improve the voting power for one alderman without making it worse for others.  If you push in one place, it bulges out somewhere else.   Dr. Papayanopoulos literally finds possible voting weights by trial and error, having a computer test nearly a million different sets of voting weights, before spitting out a few favored plans.

The following chart illustrates how the voting power is calculated (It is helpful to see this at a larger scale.   In Firefox, right click, and the click on View Image)



Each row of circles represents the votes of an alderman (Ward 5 on the top and so on).   Each column represents the votes for a particular combination of alderman, with the horizontal placement representing the total votes for that combination.   An open circle indicates a No vote.  A filled blue circle represents an Aye vote.  Those on the left side are votes that failed to secure a majority.  Those on the right side receive a majority, but the vote was not critical to success.  A red filled circle is a critical vote, where if the vote were switched to No, the combination would no longer prevail.

At the extreme left is the case where a motion received zero votes because everyone voted against it.  At the extreme right is a unanimous vote, which results in a 1000:0 victory.  No member's vote is critical since any motion with 4 members will still prevail.   A combination of wards 3 and 5 results in a prevailing vote of 567:433.  Both ward 3 and 5 are critical, since the removal of either would cause the motion to fail.  A combination of wards 1, 4, and 5 results in a prevailing vote of 621:379, but only Ward 5 is critical.  Removal of either Ward 1 or Ward 5 does not cause the motion to fail.

If we count the filled red circles, we will find 14 critical votes for Ward 5, and 2 each for other 4 wards, just as is shown in the above table.   Carefully looking at the different combinations, we see that Ward 1 will be critical if it combines with Ward 5 or if it combines with all 4 smaller wards.   The same is true for Ward 2, 3, and 4.   Ward 5 and any other ward represents a majority of the population, a bare majority of 50.1% for wards 4 and 5, and a comfortable margin of 58.8% for wards 2 and 5.   But since passage of a motion is a TRUE/FALSE proposition, there is effectively no difference between the two.  Wards 4 and Wards 2 effectively have the same power, despite Ward 2 having a 76% larger population.

Ward 5 is given credit for a critical vote for combinations involving itself and Ward 1; or itself and Ward 4; or itself and both Wards 1 and 4.  In a sense this is double counting.   Imagine the freshman alderman wants to get a stop sign in his ward.   Being new, he goes to the other members, and starts with Ward 1.   The alderman from Ward 1 agrees, in exchange for support for a paving project in his ward.   But they still are short votes.   The Ward 4 alderman suggest going to Ward 2 next, but the more experience alderman from Ward 1, knows to go to Ward 5.  The alderman from Ward 5 may ask for sodding a park, plus another project.

If the alderman from Ward 5 made a deal with each of the other alderman, then there would be 4 projects in Ward 5, and 1 in each of the other wards.   Ward 5 would get 50% of the projects, despite having only 39% of the population.  Wards 1 and Wards 4 would get about a proportional share, and ward 2 and 3 would be shortchanged.

70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 20, 2014, 10:36:32 pm
Some would like to start with a smaller state, so let me add another specific vote to take. I'll pick three smaller states that could also make interesting candidates that had legislative gerrymandering. If simpler is better to start, it's helpful if they don't involve the VRA and do have lots of internal political units to guide map making.

KY: 6 CDs, no VRA issues, lots of counties, bipartisan compromise for incumbents.

WI: 8 CDs, no VRA issues, townships to guide county chops, Pub gerrymander.

IN: 9 CDs, no VRA issues, townships to guide county chops, Pub gerrymander.

VA: 11 CDs, VRA issue, lots of counties and independent cities, Pub gerrymander and court challenge.

Since the non-commissioners will also be participating with maps, I think everyone should vote for the state. I like the idea of approval voting, so vote for any number of the states in the list.
IN+
WI+
VA+

KY o
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 20, 2014, 08:49:45 pm
Maybe potential commissioners could vote for states they would be interested in (approval voting) and then count those votes after the commissioners were selected at lot.

Or perhaps rate the states + 0 -.

The first decision of the commissioners would then to be choose the state from among those which they had expressed the most interest.

This does not preclude doing additional states with the same commissioners or others.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Corporal punishment by county school district, 2009-2011 on: November 20, 2014, 08:36:41 pm
The Census Bureau does have shapefiles of school district maps in each state.  They are in three different categories (unified, elementary and secondary), so you might have to make two maps - one for unified and elementary and one for unified and secondary.  But it would be possible to make a nationwide map if you really wanted to do so.

All of the grayed-out states on the map have banned corporal punishment in public schools, but that could be useful in cleaning up the assessments in a few of the states mentioned above.
I kind of got carried away in Texas (1050 or so school districts and 254 counties).

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has lots of data access tools, that might help.

The census might be a possibility if you want to determine which school districts are (mostly) in each county, and then color the counties on that basis.

Unfortunately American Fact Finder classifies this way:

County
     VTD (Election Precinct)
           School District

or

Congression District
      School District

or

State House District
    School District

It would probably be "easier" to go to the raw data files.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Corporal punishment by county school district, 2009-2011 on: November 20, 2014, 08:15:09 pm
Archer City ISD is just one of 4 districts in Archer County.

Crowell ISD covers the entirety of Foard County, plus extending into two others.

Montague ISD is one of 8 districts in Montague County.   Montague, though the county seat, is unincorporated and quite small.   Montague has two syllables, the second of which rhymes with Vague.

Jack County and Jacksboro ISD are substantially the same.

Denton ISD is just one of many districts in Denton County.   It is named for the city of Denton.

Hunt County includes Greenville and is northeast of Dallas.   Hunt, TX and Hunt ISD are in Kerr County, northwest of San Antonio.

Rockwall ISD covers about 2/3 of Rockwall County, including the areas adjacent to Dallas County.

Dallas ISD is one of several districts in Dallas County.  It is based in the city of Dallas.

Kaufman ISD is one of several districts in Kaufman County.

Johnson County is south of Fort Worth.  Johnson City and John City ISD are in Blanco County, west of Austin.

Henderson County is southwest of Dallas.   Henderson, TX and Henderson ISD are in Rusk County south of Tyler and Longview.

Navarro County includes Corsicana, south of Dallas.  Though the county includes the small town of Navarro, Navarro ISD is in Guadeloupe County.  It includes the town of Geronimo, but has a mailing address of Seguin.

Leon ISD is one of several districts in Leon County and is in the nortwestern corner.

Burleson County is west of Bryan.   Burleson, TX and Burleson ISD are south of Fort Worth.

Brazos County includes Bryan and College Station.   Brazos ISD is in Austin County west of Houston.  Both the county and school district are named for the Brazos River.

Colorado County is west of Houston.   Colorado City and Colorado City ISD are in Mitchell County west of Abilene.  Though 365 miles apart by road, the county and city are named for the Colorado River.

Wharton ISD is one of several districts in Wharton County.  Wharton is the county seat, though El Campo is a bit larger.

Matagorda is a rather small town in Matagorda County, and Matagorda ISD as a rather small district.

Fort Bend ISD is one of several districts in Fort Bend County.   The name may have been chosen to avoid choosing whether to name the district Missouri City, Sugar Land, or even Houston.

Austin County is west of Houston, and includes San Felipe (de Austin) the original Anglo settlement in Texas.   Austin, TX and Austin ISD are in Travis County in the central part of the state.

Waller, TX is on the Waller-Harris County line, and most of the population of Waller ISD is in Harris County due to it being closer to Houston, such that if one had to choose, Waller ISD is a Harris County district.  There are other districts in Waller County.

I'm not sure why you colored Harris County.  It has many districts, including several that are largely in the city of Houston.   Houston County is north about 100 miles.

Montgomery is a small town, increasing exurban/suburban in Montgomery County (the town is quite old).  Montgomery ISD is a growing district, but there are several that are larger.

Liberty ISD is one of several districts in Liberty County.  Liberty is the county seat, but far from the most dominant.

East Chambers ISD is the eastern and less populous portion of Chambers County.

You colored Galveston Bay purple.

Jefferson County is in the extreme southeast corner of Texas.   Jefferson, TX and Jefferson ISD are between Texarkana and Marshall in the northeast portion of the state.

Hardin-Jefferson ISD straddles the Hardin-Jefferson county line and is named for the two counties.   West Hardin Consolidated ISD is in the western portion of Hardin County.  There are other districts in the county.   Hardin, TX and Hardin ISD are in Liberty County, just to the west.

Newton ISD is one of three districts in Newton County, and is named after the county seat.

Jasper ISD is one of three districts in Jasper County, and is named after the county seat.

Tyler County is a rural county in southeast Texas.  Tyler, TX and Tyler ISD are in Smith County in northeast Texas.

Trinity ISD is one of four districts in Trinity County.

Houston County is 100 or so miles north of the city of Houston and Houston ISD.

Sabine County is in Deep East Texas.   Sabine ISD is in Gregg County, which includes Longview.  West Sabine ISD is in Sabine County, but it is a small portion.

Carthage ISD covers a substantial portion in the central part of Panola County.

Nacogdoches ISD is one of several districts in Nacogdoches County.  It is named for the county seat and largest city.

Cherokee County is in east Texas, south of Tyler.  Cherokee, TX and Cherokee ISD are in San Saba County in West Texas between Abilene, San Angelo, Austin, and Waco.

Anderson County is in east Texas, southwest of Tyler.  Andeson, TX and Anderson-Shiro Consolidated ISD are in Grimes County northwest of Houston.  Though much smaller than Navasota, Anderson is the county seat of Grimes County.

Rusk County is south of Tyler.  Rusk, TX and Rusk ISD are in Cherokee County just to the west.  Rusk is the county seat of Cherokee County.  Thomas Jefferson Rusk was Secretary of War, and first senator after the US and Texas merged.   Ted Cruz is the current senator in the Rusk succession.

Rains County and Rains ISD are almost identical.

Camp Cpunty and Pittsburg ISD are identical.

Franklin County is between Dallas and Texarkana.  Franklin, TX and Franklin ISD are in Robertson County, northwest of Bryan.   Franklin County and Mount Vernon County are roughly the same.

Marion County and Jefferson ISD are identical.

Bowie County is in the northeast corner of the state.  Bowie, TX and Bowie ISD are in Montague County between Sherman and Wichita Falls.

Lamar County is along the Red River east of Sherman.  Lamar Consolidated ISD is in Fort Bend County, based on Richmond and Rosenberg.   Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar was from that area, and is the namesake of the county.

Delta County and Cooper ISD are roughly the same.
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Corporal punishment by county school district, 2009-2011 on: November 20, 2014, 08:12:52 pm
Ector County and Ector County ISD are coterminous.   The town of Ector (and Ector ISD) are in Fannin County.   Ector County and Ector, TX are named after different person (Ector was the first name of an early settler in Ector, TX; while Ector County was named after a Confederate general.  It is a bit surprising that Ector County ISD is not named Odessa ISD, since Odessa is by far the largest city.

Midland County and Midland ISD are largely the same, the school district is named after the city of Midland which has the bulk of the population.  Midland was originally named Midway as the midpoint of the Dallas to El Paso railroad, it was changed to avoid confusion with existing post offices.

Glasscock County and Glasscock ISD are coterminous.   There is no town of Glasscock, so the district is named for the county.  The schools are in the county seat of Garden City, and include County in their names.

Sterling County and Sterling City ISD are coterminous.   Almost all the county population is in the county seat of Sterling City.

Reagan County and Reagan County ISD are coterminous.   Reagan is pronounced with a long e.

Irion County and Irion County ISD are coterminous.

Crockett County and Crockett County Consolidated Common School District are coterminous.  It may be an independent school district.  About 90% of the population live in Ozona, the county seat.  Be sure not to confuse with Crockett, TX and Crockett ISD, which are in Houston County, northeast of Huntsville.  Both county and city are named after David Crockett.

Schleicher County and Schleicher (County) ISD are coterminous.  The Texas Education Agency does not include "county" in the name, but the ISD web site does.  The schools are all named after Eldorado the county seat.  There is no town of Schleicer.

Sutton County and Sonora ISD are coterminous.  3/4 of the population lives in Sonora.

Menard County and Menard ISD are almost identical.  The school district is named after the town of Menard.

Kimble County and Junction ISD are largely the same.   The county seat of Junction has a little over half the population.

Coleman ISD is one of three school districts in Coleman County.  Coleman is the county seat and largest town.

San Saba ISD one of three schoold districts in San Saba County.  San Saba is the county seat and largest town.

Mason County and Mason ISD are largely the same.  Mason is the county seat with about half the population.

Llano County and Llano ISD are largely the same.  Llano is the county seat, and pronounce with an ell sound, rather than the Spanish elle.

Johnson City is the county seat of Blanco County.   Blanco is a town in the county.   Johnson City ISD and Blanco ISD roughly split the county, though Blanco ISD also has considerable territory in Kendall County.

Bandera ISD is one of three school districts in Bandera County and is named after the town of Bandera.

Medina Valley ISD is one of 5 districts in Medina County.  If it were named Castroville ISD you would not have counted it.

Uvalde Consolidated ISD is one of several districts in Uvalde County.  Is based in the town of Uvalde.

Kinney County and Brackett ISD are coterminous.  Brackettville is the county seat, and was renamed by the post office from Brackett.   It is somewhat odd that the school district retains the old name.

Maverick County and Eagle Pass ISD are coterminous.  Eagle Pass is the county seat and only city in the county.

Zavala County is north of Laredo and west of San Antonio.  Zavalla, TX and Zavalla ISD are in Angelina County which includes Lufkin.   Both are named after the first Vice President, though the Angelina County version is a mispelling with its doubled l.

Dimmit County is north of Laredo.  Dimmitt, TX and Dimmitt ISD are in Castro County in the panhandle.   Dimmit County and Dimmitt, TX are named after two different persons with the same last name.   Dimmit County accidentally dropped the 2nd 't'.   

Dimmitt County and Carrizo Springs ISD are coterminous.

La Salle County and Cotulla ISD are roughly the same.   Cotulla is a Polish name, so the ll are pronunced as in Texan.

McMullen County and McMullen County ISD are coterminous.  The county seat is Tilden.

United ISD and Laredo ISD are somewhat more like the city and county school districts that you are familiar with, with United ISD including most of Webb County, and Laredo ISD just a small area in the city.   But the growth of Laredo has resulted in spillover into United ISD, which now operats multiple high schools in Laredo.   There is also a Webb Consolidated ISD in the county, but it is relatively small population.

Zapata County and Zapata County ISD are coterminous.

Jim Hogg County and Jim Hogg ISD are coterminous.   90%+ of the population is in the county seat of Hebbronville in the extreme northern part of the county, and for which the schools are named.

Brooks County and Brooks County ISD are coterminous.  About 2/3 of the population is in the county seat of Falfurria in the extreme northern part of the county and for which the schools are named.

Hidalgo is a quite small town in Hidalgo County, and Hidalgo ISD is also quite small.

Cameron County is the southern tip of Texas.  Cameron, TX and Cameron ISD are in Milam County in central Texas.

Kenedy County abd Kenedy County-Wide Common School District are coterminous, but be sure not to confuse with Kenedy, TX and Kenedy ISD which are in Karnes County southeast of Texas.

Aransas County ISD is most of Aransas County, including the county seat of Rockport.  Don't confuse with Aransas Pass and Aransas Pass ISD which are largely in San Patricio County, but overlap into Aransas County, or Port Aransas and Port Aransas ISD which are in Nueces County.

Refugio ISD is one of three districts in Refugio County, and is named after the town.

Calhoun County and Calhoun County ISD are roughly the same.   Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca is home of the Fighting Sancrabs.

Goliad County and Goliad ISD are coterminous.  The school district is named after the county seat.

Victoria County and Victoria ISD are roughly the same.  Victoria ISD is named after the county seat.

Karnes City ISD is one of several districts in Karnes County.  Karnes City is the county seat, but Kenedy is slightly larger.

Wilson County is southeast of San Antonio.   Wilson, TX and Wilson ISD are in Lynn County south of Lubbock. 

Gonzales ISD is one of three districts in Gonzales County (plus parts of several others).  It is named after the town.

Comal ISD covers much of Comal County, but much of the population is in New Braunfels ISD.   Comal is just northeast of San Antonio so it is seeing suburban growth.

Hays Consolidated ISD is only a portion of Hay County.  The county seat and largest city is San Marcos (San Marcos ISD).    Hays Consolidated is just south of Austin and has seen considerable growth, particularly around Buda.   There is also a small town of Hays.

Caldwell County is south(east) of Austin.   Caldwell, TX and Caldwell ISD are in Burleson County, north of Bryan.

Bastrop ISD is one of several districts in Bastrop County.   Bastrop is the county seat, and it may have the most population, but that is because it is closest to Austin.

Burnet Consolidated ISD covers much of Burnet County, but it is a bit iffy to consider it the district for the county.   Burnet is the county seat, but it and Marble Falls have about the same population/

Lampasas County and Lampasas ISD are roughly the same, but the district is named after the county seat.

Eastland ISD is one of several districts in Eastland County.  Cisco and Ranger are comparable in size to Eastland.

Taylor County is the location of Abilene.   Taylor, TX and Taylor ISD are in Williamson County, northeast of Austin.

Stephens County and Breckenridge ISD are roughly the same.

Haskell Consolidated ISD covers a substantial portion of Haskell County.   Apparently it was offensive to name the girls athletics teams 'Indians'.   They are instead the 'Maidens'.

Throckmorton County and Throckmorton ISD are roughly the same.  About 1/2 the county population is in the county seat of Throckmorton.

Baylor County and Seymour ISD are almost identical.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Corporal punishment by county school district, 2009-2011 on: November 20, 2014, 08:11:34 pm
I don't understand how you determine which counties in Texas or Colorado are "county" school districts.  I think you are applying a Georgia or Florida concept to places where it is an alien concept.

It's not a perfect concept obviously. Frankly, as I moved west, it was frustrating to not have a simple metric by which to match up each county with a district, which is why I had to then start using a third color for counties that didn't even have one school district that was easily identifiable with a county.

In Texas, all I could do without losing sanity was match up the districts that shared a name with a county (roughly half of the counties). It appeared that there are districts that covered unincorporated areas of an entire county, as well as municipal districts (and maybe some that cover multiple counties?), that were all essentially "incorporated school districts". It was definitely a lot simpler along the Atlantic and the Gulf to do this.
The problem is that in some cases it happens to be that the name of the county and a city or town in the county have the same name, but the school district is named for the town.  And there are lots of cities and towns in Texas that are not in the county of the same name.

ISD stands for "Independent School District", and in particular that they are independent of the county government.   Texas was a very rural state until the 20th century.  So you would have to have a school within walking distance (or perhaps horseback riding) distance for elementary school children.  But there might not be enough farmers or ranchers to support a school board.  There would be a one-room or two-room schoolhouse, and a couple of teachers.  But the administration would be by the county school board.  The county seat might have a high school, and more gifted children might board in town during the week to attend the high school.  Larger towns might form an Independent School District which they would provide funding.  The smaller schools were common schools.

Around the 1940s school districts began to be consolidated.   I found a history for the North Lamar ISD that showed that 44 districts were included (there were several levels of consolidations).   North Lamar covers about half of Lamar County).

Because school districts were originally created by county school boards, there is usually some conformance with county boundaries.   But consolidations may have occurred across lines, and some boundaries may have been adjusted to match roads.  Consolidation occurred after there were roads and vehicles to take students to and from school each day.

Sherman County is in northern tier of the panhandle.  Sherman ISD (Grayson County) is north of Dallas.

Ochiltree County and Perryton ISD are roughly the same.

Hemphill County is in the panhandle.  Hemphill ISD is in extreme Deep East Texas (Sabine County)

Hemphill County and Canadian ISD are roughly the same.

Roberts County and Miami ISD are roughly the same.

Moore County and Dumas ISD are roughly the same.

Hartley ISD is a relatively small district in Hartley County.  A case could be made that Dalhart ISD is a bi-county district in terms of students.   Dalhart is the county seat of Dallam County, but not Hartley County (neither is Hartley).  The county seat is Channing, which was one of the HQ of the XIT Ranch.  Incidentally, Dalhart is closer to Santa Fe, Denver, Oklahoma City, Topeka, Cheyenne, and Lincoln, than it is to Austin.

Wheeler ISD is just of several school districts in Wheeler County.   Shamrock is slightly larger than the town of Wheeler (Shamrock is on the interstate).

Collingsworth County and Wellington ISD are roughly the same.

Armstrong County and Claude ISD are roughly the same.

Childress County and Childress ISD are roughly the same, though the ISD is named after the town.

Hale Center is near the center of Hale County, but the county seat is in Plainview which has about 10 times the population.  Hale Center ISD is just one of several  districts in the county.

Floyd County and Floydada ISD are roughly the same.  Floydada was originally Floyd City, but the name was changed to avoid confusion with another Floyd, TX (in Hunt County).  The origin of the "ada" is uncertain.

Motley County and Motley County ISD are roughly the same.   The town of Matador has more than half the county population.  It may just be happenstance that the school district is named after the county rather the town, or perhaps smaller communities resisted submerging their identity to that of a rival community.   The athletic teams are known as the Matadors.

Cottle County and Paducah ISD are roughly the same.

King County and Guthrie ISD are roughly the same.

Lubbock ISD is named after the city, and is just one of several districts in Lubbock County.  Several of the districts are of moderate size due to population spillover.

Yoakum County is west of Lubbock.  Yoakum ISD is between Victoria and San Antonio.  Yoakum, TX is named for Benjamin Franklin Yoakum the nephew of the namesake of Yoakum County, Henderson King Yoakum.

Garza County and Post ISD are roughly the same.

Kent County and Jayton-Girard ISD are roughly the same.

Stonewall County and Aspermont ISD are roughly the same.

Scurry County is between Abilene and Lubbock.   Scurry-Rosser ISD is in Kaufman County east of Dallas.  They are named for different Scurry's (and one is named after the first name, and the other after the last name.

Borden County and Borden County ISD are roughly the same.

There are two Dawson ISD's.  One is in the northwest corner of Dawson County, between Big Spring and Lubbock.  It is based in the town of Welch.  The county seat is the much larger town of Lamesa (pronounced with a long e), roughly 40x the size of Welch.  I could find no explanation of why the small ISD in a corner of the county has the name of the county.  The other Dawson ISD is in Navarro County (pronounce Na-vair) southeast of Corsicana, and is based on the town of Dawson.

Gaines County and Seminole ISD are roughly the same, particularly when population is considered.

Andrews County and Andrews ISD are coterminous.  The ISD is named after the county seat, which has 6/7 of the county population.

El Paso ISD is named after the city.  It is just one of several in the county.  Ysleta ISD is also quite large.

Culberson County and Culberson County-Allemore ISD are roughly the same.  Until recently, Allemore ISD was the smallest in the state, and there would be an occasional story showing a girl on a swing, who constituted the third grade class, and fourth grad etc.

Presidio ISD is named after the city.   The bulk of Presidio County is in Marfa ISD, though most of students are in Presidio ISD.

Terlingua Common School District in Brewster County, west of Big Bend National Park, is one of the few remaining common school districts in the state.   Oddly, it operates a high school, which is attended by students from neighboring San Vicente ISD.   Historically, ISDs developed because the towns were willing to be taxed to support a high school.  Some of the initial consolidations were to create rural high school districts.

The city of Pecos is in Reeves County, the county to the northwest of Pecos County.  Reeves County and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD are largely the same, though Barstow is neigboring Ward County.

Terrell County and Terrell County ISD are coterminous.

Wink-Loving ISD includes all of Loving County.   Wink is named after Winkler County (the name was truncated to satisfy postal authorities).   But the county seat and much larger town in Winkler County is Kermit, which is served by Kermit ISD.   Loving County is the only county in Texas without any school districts headquartered in the county, and has no schools.  Any children are bussed from Mentone to Wink.

Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD includes much of the area of Ward County, and most of the students.

Crane County and Crane ISD are coterminous.   Crane is the county seat and has about 2/3 of the county population.

Reagan County and Reagan County ISD are coterminous.
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