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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 26, 2016, 10:36:35 am
Alternative 5

This retains areas east of Worth Avenue in Ward 3.

52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 26, 2016, 08:44:07 am
Alternative 3

This version shifts the area north of Underhill Pond into Ward 4.

53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 25, 2016, 06:24:47 pm
Alternative 2

This alternative cleans up the area east of 5th Street.

54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 25, 2016, 05:39:35 pm
Alternative 1

The current proposal has three significant problems:

(1) Cracking of the Hudson Terrace apartments, which has a large minority population;
(2) Maintaining the 5th Street extension as a ward boundary, which has caused so much confusion in the past;
(3) Using alleys as ward boundaries, which suggests deliberate gerrymandering, and is likely to cause confusion.

This alternative places all of Hudson Terrace in Ward 2; uses Harry Howard Avenue as the boundary between wards 4 and 5; and eliminate use of alleys.

Wards are numbered to recognize that the ward south of Warren Street is a successor to both wards 1 and 3, with Ward 3 the larger contributor; and that 70% of then new Ward 6 is from Ward 5.

55  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 25, 2016, 08:45:23 am
The thing is: there's only a little mess now, because the Remain side insisted that there would be.

On a lighter note, have a look at this:

You do realize that the country is not England.
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 25, 2016, 08:39:56 am
10 Wards

With 10 wards, each would elect one alderman.  This will provide a more geographically diverse council, and likely more politically diverse, since each alderman will be elected by a unique electorate. The existing wards are retained, except Harry Howard Avenue is substituted for the confusing 5th Street extension and Columbia Street is substituted for Columbia Turnpike, conforming to current practice.

The wards could be named. Perhaps an election among residents over a certain age (say 8 YO), could choose the name of their ward.

Interactive Version

57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 24, 2016, 12:58:28 am
While I welcome your input, my posting of this map was more aimed at Torie.  It gets rid of the split across at least one home in the block around Underhill Pond, while still only shifting territory 4 ways (3 -> 1, 5 -> 3, 5 -> 4 and 2 -> 4).  I wanted to find something you would object to less than the map Torie is currently advocating for, while meeting Torie approval which I placed a higher value on since he's the one who lives in Hudson and is involved "on the ground" in the petition drive to get a five equal population wards (and presumably ditching weighted voting) scheme adopted.

It's probably too late now for Torie to be willing to consider changes in his map based on where he is in the process, but I thought I'd throw this out there to see what he thought.  Who knows, he might be getting pushback about keeping the extension of N 5th St as a ward boundary between Clinton St and Harry Howard Ave, or "Why did you keep that extension [part of the way] but not the 3rd Street extension?", and my alternative could help address those issues.
At this point it would probably have to be the Common Council that would propose an alternative.

The group that is pushing this is from a small area, and is likely promoting a gerrymander under the  guise of "equality". Small councils are the easiest to gerrymander.
58  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 23, 2016, 09:39:40 pm
England is only up to 69% of the total vote. England is 84% of the population.

England is around 54% Leave, so unless England starts coming in for Remain, it will probably end up about 52.46% Leave.
59  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 23, 2016, 07:03:10 pm
From my understanding,
In a General Election, the ballots from each polling station are sent to a central 'Counting Room' in each of UK 650 ridings . Once all the ballots in the riding are counted. A riding official will announce the results, along side the candidates (and their huge ribbons). This process could take hours since it could take hours just to get  ballot boxes from the more remote locations.

Now, during the referendum ballot boxes will be sent to 382 local count venues.
Unlike in a general election where the numbers of voters is around the same. Local venues will very in size from 700,000 in Birmingham to 1,700 in the Isles of Scilly.

Why does UK count their ballots at these central counting station instead of the polling stations?
My understanding is that they give a lot of authority to the returning officers. I believe there is one constituency where the ballots were counted at the polling stations (in Brighton?)

A few years ago there was a study by the Electoral Commission with respect to election practices, where they studied systems used in other countries, particularly continental Europe. Generally those who did it one way could not conceive that it was possible to do it the other way. The conclusion was counting at central stations worked, so there was no reason to force a change.

Britain has a single registration roll tied to local authorities, so there is no reason not to generally conduct a national election based on those authorities. A parliamentary election could be considered a special case with its own election districts.

It is not too dissimilar to Texas, where elections are conducted by counties, some of which are much smaller than the Isles of Scilly and others are several  times larger than Birmingham.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 23, 2016, 10:55:19 am
This would be a better starting point for drawing maps.

It begins with my suggested blocks, and then fuses blocks divided by alleys, with two exceptions: Strawberry Alley, which forms a substitute for an escarpment; and Deer Alley which has facing residences and functions as a street.

It also fuses blocks containing apartment complexes (Hudson Terrace and Crosswind).

It also fuses some uninhabited and uninhabitable areas around the edge of the city.

Conceivably, separate areas could be devised for areas where habitation is distinct. For example, the brown northern block could have its Mill Street, Lucille Drive and Firemen's Home population separated.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 23, 2016, 05:23:00 am
Added 6th Ward

Hudson has always divided wards, rather than modifying ward boundaries. In 1815, Hudson was divided on 3rd Street into two wards. In 1855 these wards were divided along Warren Street (and Columbia Street and Columbia Turnpike) creating four wards. In 1885, Ward 4 was divided on N 5th Street extended. Since Ward 5 now has a dominant share of the population, it could be divided on State Street and the railroad tracks. The remainder of the 5th Ward and the new 6th Ward would each elect two aldermen, while Wards 1 and 4 would election one each.

Interactive Version

62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 23, 2016, 04:28:35 am
I was thinking about your desire to maintain the status quo. The status quo is that the residents of Westwind vote in Ward 4. So how about this alternative?

I like that map, particularly from a selfish political standpoint (well other than for me), but again, we are not crossing Warren Street, and I want to minimize population variances.

How about this?

I used Jimrtex's map above as a basis, with my modifications in Microsoft Paint.  You can ignore where the black lines are.  The background colors are what rules.  Wards 1 and 2 are exactly as in the current Torie plan, and the populations of the other three wards are the same, just switched around.

My problem is that it divides (cracks) an apartment complex with a large minority population, and utilizes an alleyway as a ward boundary.

63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 22, 2016, 07:26:26 pm
Current Wards With Apportioned Aldermen

The reason that the aldermen from Ward 5 have four times the voting weight of those from Ward 1 is that they represent four times as many people. If one wanted to make the weights more equal, then the solution is to apportion aldermen on the basis of population.

This would also ensure proper representation of eastern Hudson on council committees. Under the current system, committees may develop ideas and believe they have a consensus, only to have the idea beaten back when it was considered by the whole Common Council.

Interactive Version

64  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 22, 2016, 12:41:41 pm
The New York Times brought up a good point by pointing out that voters are expecting Remain to win by a clear plurality, which is reportedly a better indicator than a normal poll of voting intentions:

A plurality?  Aren't there only two options on the ballot?
There were three options in the poll, which asked respondents what they expected would be the result.

40% Remain will win.
34% Don't know.
26% Leave will win.

The thesis of the article was that this was more predictive than the actual expressed intent of how they intended to vote.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 21, 2016, 11:20:50 pm
Current Wards with Weight Proportional to Population

There is no reason that the Common Council could not correct the ward populations, and adjust the voting weights. This example, assigns an alderman one vote for every five persons he represents. Vote weights are purely proportional to population (other than round off). The voting weight of the council president can be adjusted to provide better congruence with the Banzhaf Power Index.

If the president were assigned 238 votes for simple motions, and 256 for 2/3, then relative deviation range between the Banzhaf Power Index and population, would 6.93% and 1.64%, respectively.

Interactive Version

66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 21, 2016, 07:50:38 pm
Current Wards and Weights

The current voting weights were based on erroneous populations due to the combined incompetency of the Columbia County Board of Elections, the Hudson city clerk, and the Common Council. As a result there is a 30.9% relative deviation range between population and voting weights. This is a clear OMOV violation. The SCOTUS is unlikely to accept "we're just bunch of hillbilly bozos" as a justification.

Interactive Version

67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: June 18, 2016, 06:59:17 pm
In calculating the Banzhaf Power Index, each representative is assumed to vote randomly and independently, as if they were flipping a coin. Since each representative can vote Aye or No, there are 2n combinations of representative, including the unanimous cases of everyone voting Aye or No.

A critical vote occurs when:
    (1) A representative votes Aye on a motion;
    (2) The combination of representatives voting Aye on a motion prevails (e.g. have a majority or
          supermajority of the votes);
    (3) If the representative alone changed his vote to No, the motion would fail.

The total number of critical votes for each representative for all possible combinations of representatives is calculated.

A representative's Banzhaf Power Index is the proportion of total critical votes for the representative divided by the total critical votes for all representatives.

Some persons claim that the Banzhaf Power Index measures voting power. We'll assume that this claim is true.

We are not actually concerned about the representatives voting power, but that of a voter. A voter may have multiple representatives and we need to combine the power exercised through multiple representatives.

We can calculate the representational interest per voter, by dividing the number of votes cast by a representative by the number of persons represented by the representative. If a representative has one vote, and represents 10,000 persions, then each person has 1/10000 representative-votes. If a voter has multiple representative, we can sum the representative votes to determine the total representative-votes for the representative.

OMOV as defined by the SCOTUS is that the representative-votes is substantially equal for all persons.

Dr. Papayanopoulos has applied the same procedure when calculating voting power in Hudson, though he ignored the power exercises through the council president.

But if we look at how the Banzhaf Power Index is calculated there is a paradox. A voter is considered to exercise power when their representative votes the same way as they do, and the representative is a critical vote. When there are two aldermen per ward, a voter might say that they are exercising power and beat their chest if one alderman voted Aye and the other voted No. What's worse, in many cases if both voted together, they might not be critical (in essence just voting with the consensus) and the voter exercised no power, even if he had somehow convinced them both to vote Aye.

Whether it was a bribe, or his heartfelt and sincere argument that convinced them to vote Aye, it was not an exercise of power (as measured by Dr. Papayanopolous).

Torie apparently argues that when there are twin representatives, such as two alderman per ward, they should be treated as flipping a single coin and voting together. As such, Dr. Papayanopolous miscalculated the Banzhaf Power Index for Hudson.

The problem with Torie's argument is that it can also be applied to a Common Council elected from equal-population districts, with a president elected at large.

Under such a system, each ward casts two votes, and the president one.

We can Calculate the Banzhaf Power Index

Input 6 players, with a quota of 6 (of 11 total), and weights of: 2 2 2 2 2 1

Under such a scheme the Council President has no power.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Texas Weighted Voting on: June 16, 2016, 09:35:33 am

In the first census after accession, 58 of 78 counties had enough population for one representative and formed a single-county district. Seven other counties had a large fraction of a representative and also formed a single-county district, since there was no adjacent small counties to combine them with.

Medina County was only entitled to 0.641 representatives, but was still made a single-county district. It was totally surrounded by Bexar County. It it were combined with Medina it would have close to five votes shared among 5 representatives, and swamping Medina County. There were no nearby counties to combine with Medina County. It was felt that the small deviation below 2/3 of a vote was superior to any alternative.

Bexar County included the entire western part of the state, though it was likely very few persons were outside San Antonio.

The remaining 12 counties were placed in five multi-county districts.

The 71 districts were apportioned floor(population/quota) representatives, for a total of 116 representatives. Districts with between:

0 < weight < 1
11/3 <= weight < 2
22/3 <= weigh < 3

were apportioned an additional representative. This brought the total number of representatives to 150.

1850 Apportionment

1850 Vote Weight/Representative

Ideally, this would be randomly distributed, with more extreme values for single-member districts.

Outline maps and population data courtesy of:

Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 2.0. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota 2011.

NHGIS web site
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Texas Weighted Voting on: June 16, 2016, 09:03:08 am
Starting Over

I found that the initial set of rules that required there be 150 representatives resulted in too many changes beyond those necessary to ensure each representative had between 2/3 and 11/3 votes.

For example if a multi-county district had increased in population share such that it was entitled to 1.5 representatives it would be split. But the resulting districts would tend to be on the small size (0.75 or so each), which would result in too many representatives, and require additional changes. For example, if two adjacent districts had a total voting weight of 3.0, they might be first divided into four districts of roughly 0.75 voting weight, and then reorganized into three districts of roughly 1.0 voting weight.

If the initial division into four districts had remained in place, then if the area continued to grow, the new districts might stay in place for a census or two. But the three larger districts would likely require more changes in subsequent censuses. Thus we are violating the principle of stability.

This is an experiment in use of weighted voting for the Texas House of Representatives. Basic rules:

(1) There will be approximately 150 representatives, with a total of 150 votes.
(2) Each representative will have between 2/3 and 11/3 votes.
(3) A single county may have multiple representatives, who will evenly divide the county's voting weight.

To the extent possible:

(4) Each county with more than 1/150 of the population will have its own representative(s).
(5) Multi-county districts will have one representative.

To the extent practicable:

(6) Districts will not change between censuses (that is, change will only occur to satisfy criteria (1) through (5).
(7) The number of representatives for single-county multi-representative districts may change if it will result in the total number of representatives becoming closer to 150.
70  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump: No guns for people on the terrorist watch list on: June 15, 2016, 05:49:29 pm
NRA Statement on Terror Watchlists

Quote from: NRA
We are happy to meet with Donald Trump.  The NRA's position on this issue has not changed.  The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period.  Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing.  If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist.  At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed.  That has been the position of Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) and a majority of the U.S. Senate.  Sadly, President Obama and his allies would prefer to play politics with this issue.[/url]

71  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders and Clinton have been meeting for over an hour on: June 15, 2016, 01:27:38 pm
Hmm, I wonder what his demands are going to be...

Unsurprisingly, Sanders does not actually know who decides whether a primary is open or closed.

Also, nothing about undemocratic caucuses.

Theoretically, the DNC does, as it could totally penalize states that chose to have closed primaries if the DNC finally put its foot down and declared they were not going to support such.

It's such a patchwork system that I don't know if there are any cases of such, but this might pose an issue in GOP-controlled states where the system is closed and these decisions are made by the state government for both parties. I'm wondering if there are any such states, or if each party gets to make that decision in all 50 states. From state to state, there are primaries/caucuses that are run by the states, primaries/caucuses that are run by the parties, closed primaries, open primaries, states with no registration deadline, states with stringent registration deadlines, and so forth. I'm unsure whether the state parties have the ability to alter any and all of those variables unilaterally unless they completely take over their primary process from the state...which wouldn't be feasible in most cases.
A State can not require a party to use a particular process to choose its delegates to a national convention, and a State can not require a political party to not associate with non-affiliated voters for its nominating activities, even when the State is running the primary.

Democratic Party of U.S. v. Wisconsin, (1981) No. 79-1631

Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut (1986) No. 85-766

The DNC could conceivably provide sanctions for States that use closed primaries, and offer to provide legal expertise if state parties need to challenge state laws.

72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Hypernym on: June 15, 2016, 09:47:25 am
Is there a hypernym for all 50 states + D.C. + all five territories?

It sucks to permanently use the slash when wanting to include the six non-states. 😤
Some years ago, the National Geographic-sponsored Geography Bee congratulated the "57 state winners". I wrote to them about their mistake, and also inquired as to who the 7th extra winner was.

They apologizes about their error. The 7th extra winner was sponsored by the DOD overseas schools.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Texas Weighted Voting on: June 15, 2016, 02:05:08 am

Texas grew by 94% during the decade and 69 new counties were created. 54 of the new counties filled the Panhandle and South Plains with empty boxes - there were only about 2500 people counted here. 12 new counties were created in eastern Texas, these additions completed the modern map in this area except for minor boundary changes. With the growth came large-scale shifts, as only 61 of 92 districts remained intact, and 28 representatives shifted between districts.

92 districts had been apportioned 150 representatives in 1860.

Of these, 24 had insufficient population to maintain the same number of representatives (voting weight per-representative less than 2/3. The number of representatives for these districts was reduced to the maximum possible. Eleven of these districts no longer had enough population for a representative. With the reduction in representatives, there were now 125 representatives apportioned.

17 districts had increased in population share such that they required additional representatives to keep their voting weight per representative below 4/3. The number of representatives for these districts was increased to the minimum possible. Ten of the districts were multi-county districts which were slated for division. With the increase in representation, there were 147 representatives apportioned.

The population of the new counties and the districts that could no longer supported a representative amounted to the equivalent of 12.6 representatives, that will have to be accommodated by new or adjusted districts.

Four counties which had a voting weight of less than 2/3, had no neighbors with a voting weight less than one. So while the smaller counties could not support a representative, their neighbors would ordinarily be entitled to be a single-county district. This conflict was resolved by attaching the smaller county to their smallest neighbor, and treated for apportionment and electoral purposes as a single unit, sometimes sharing more than one representative. This has come to be known as the Rockwall Rule, after Rockwall County.

The Rockwall Rule districts were:

Rockwall attached to Kaufman (2 representative)
Delta attached to Hopkins (2 representatives)
Rains attached to Wood (2 representatives)
Madison attached to Walker (2 representatives)

In the first three instances, the smaller county had been created, at least in part from the county it was attached to.

In the eastern part of the state, 12 new districts were created, eight as the result of mergers of districts that no longer could support a representative; three new districts for new counties: Gregg, Lee, and Waller; and one for Hood which was detached from Parker plus the new county of Somervell.

In dividing districts in the west, one additional district was created beyond the additional estimate.

These changes resulted in an apportionment of 161 representatives, eleven more than the target.

Six single-county districts were identified which could lose a representative, yet maintain an voting weight less than 4/3 per representative. These six districts lost a representative, giving us a total of 155 representatives, five more than the 155 permitted.

Thus after mandatory or possible reductions, required increases, straightforward mergers and division, and accommodating all the new counties, there were five too many representatives. More radical change was necessary.

In the southeast and along the coast above the Coastal Bend, districts were rearranged to eliminate two representatives. These areas had lost population share, and thus the districts were a bit on the low side in population.

In the southwest, a representative was saved by converting two 2:1 splits, into a single new district formed from parts of the 1870 districts. The 1870 districts had only modestly qualified to be divided, so it was fairly easy to convert into a 3:2 split. A similar situation existed in the Hill Country.

The final representative necessary to reduce the total to 150 was in  the area west of Fort Worth, where three single-member districts had been divided into 12 districts electing 14 representatives. This area was treated as it it were entirely new, with the 3 existing districts ignored. A reduction to 11 districts electing 13 representatives achieved our goal of 150 representatives.

With all these changes, there are now 100 districts, an increase of eight with a net shift of 27 representatives. 67 of the districts were single-county districts with 113 representatives. In addition there were four Rockwall Rule districts with 8 representatives.

Of the 29 multi-county single-representative districts, 13 are in West Texas, six in South Texas, three above the Coastal Bend, five in the southeast, and two in East Texas, largely due to the creation of three small counties from Titus and Upshur.

Growth was concentrated in the northwest, particular from Dallas west. Texas had a different most populous county for the 4th census in a row: 1850 Harrison; 1860 Rusk; 1870 Washington; and 1880 Grayson.

Districts with no change in composition or number of representatives are in tan. For, these 39 districts with 66 representatives, the only change was in the voting weights. To maintain population share, a county needed to grow by 94%, so these counties are not low growth or no growth areas.

Districts that lost representatives are in red. They are generally in the east, or closer to the coast. These sixteen districts lost 17 representatives, and were left with 24 representatives. Some of the losses can be attributed to creation of new counties.

Six districts in deep pink, in the southeast and northeast represent mergers of district. Five districts in ligher pink expanded in area, and thus are larger, but still have one representative.

Districts in green gained representation. They were concentrated in the Dallas Area. This did not represent development of the Metroplex, but the opening of this area to farming which would later contribute to development of trading centers. Faced with a requirement to gain faster than 94% to gain representation, there were only six gainers. They had a total of 14 representatives, an increase of six.

17 districts were new, in a lighter green, including two new single-county districts, Cooke and Wise, with two representatives each. They were concentrated in the northwest, where an area with 3 representatives in 1870 now had 13 representatives. Three were new counties in the eastern part of state, where their creation contributed to the loss of representatives to the counties they had been created from.

Six districts in light green shed part of their area. Rather than being divided, they shed part of their area to remain a single-representative district (Parker shed Hood and gained a representative).

Four districts in blue are Rockwall Rule districts, where a smaller county has been attached to a larger county that would otherwise been a single-county district. The change in representative is relative to the area at the previous census.

53 districts have a single representative. 44 districts have two representatives, and only three have three representatives. 97 of the 150 representatives are elected from multi-member districts. The multi-representative area continued to shift westward.

Outline maps and population data courtesy of:

Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 2.0. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota 2011.

NHGIS web site
74  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump accesses American soliders of stealing Iraqi funds on: June 14, 2016, 10:51:54 pm
YouTube Clip

You really can't make this stuff up.
Isn't he referring to Iraqi soldiers?
75  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump: Arrest Any Americans Who Don't Report Neighbors' "Suspicious Behavior" on: June 14, 2016, 11:58:26 am
In Texas, it is a crime to not report suspected child abuse or neglect.

Let's see.  Situation A - You witness a child being abused or neglected and don't report it.  Situation B - You think your neighbor is getting to many packages and spending to much time in the garage.  Not much difference there.
I left a word out.

The actual language is "cause to believe".

You didn't actually witness the child abuse or neglect, but you heard something, or the child looked malnourished or had bruises and cuts.

You probably figured that the many packages were filled with straw, and that the neighbor was creating strawmen in garage.
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