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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 18, 2014, 07:19:08 am
100% White (rural AUT)
Does the Austrian census (if such exists) show the population by country of birth?

Yes, Austria has a Census.

The last one was done in 2011, but the numbers from the CPR (Central Population Register) are more up-to-date than the Census figures.

The country of birth numbers (from 2002 to 2014) are here:

http://www.statistik.at/web_de/static/bevoelkerung_zu_jahresbeginn_seit_2002_nach_detailliertem_geburtsland_037044.pdf
Quite interesting.   Other than Germans and some Italians, relatively small numbers in the old EU compared to numbers from the new EU, though this is probably also due to Austria's location as the easternmost country of the old EU, and Vienna's location on its eastern edge.  Is there any sense of affinity based on the A-H empire?  Are many remnants of German-speaking communities in these countries?  Or maybe just that Austria was not a NATO member?

But then the numbers from the new EU countries are quite overwhelmed by those from BiH and Serbia, and the numbers from Kosovo and Macedonia are quite high, so it is definitely not an EU-specific phenomena.

A curiosity was the high number of persons from the Dominican Republic?  Is there some obvious connection, or is it like in the US where there is often chain migration, where friends and relatives are encouraged to immigrate where they are often provided housing and other assistance getting established. 

Is the J in Jemen and Japan pronounced the same?
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 18, 2014, 06:57:36 am
Looking into these numbers, about 0.5% of the population here was born in Africa.

(Most of them are living in the big cities).

In my home city of 10.000 I actually only know just 1 black family.

One could argue that Turks or Arabs, northern-Africans, Afghans etc. are our version of "Hispanics" though ... Tongue
In my home town, the surname of a particular family was synonymous with "Black".
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 06:35:59 am

That then leaves the question as to how the Atlanta metro should split. The metro split you suggest is not based on any CoI, so I'm think some effort should go to see where there might be a CoI that keeps the pieces within the 2/3 - 4/3 quota range.


Quote
One particular county that resulted in my switch was Carroll County, which has double in population to over 110,000 in the 3 decades from 1980-2010, with the growth concentrated on the panhandle crossed by I-20.  It is thus similar to Sherburne County in Minnesota - where interstate access makes longer distance commuting possible.  So you have cut the doughnut along the Alabama line.

I don't see the COI that the southern fringe of your district has with Rome and Dalton.  Were they "North Georgia" before someone dropped the A(tlanta)-Bomb on the area?

The north-south boundary in GA is pretty well accepted and runs along the fall line that separates the Piedmont from the Coastal Plain. The mountains of the north form a much smaller division. The fall line runs from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. I used the metro areas of the fall line as the northern edge of the south, which also kept the Black Belt intact in the southern district.

The remainder becomes the northern two districts. Merriwether. Pike and Lamar are on the southern edge of the Atlanta metro as much as Pickens and Dawson are on the northern edge. They are all semi-rural counties in the metro with commuting populations. If the population split were acceptable, I would have put Rome, Dalton, Athens, and everything else north and east of the Atlanta metro in one district and the metro in another, but I can't.
In 1950 Atlanta metro consisted of Fulton (473K) and DeKalb (136K), and barely Cobb (61K, but up from 38K in 1940).

By 1970 it was still the same Fulton (607K), DeKalb (483K), and Cobb (196K).  From 1960 to 1990, Fulton kind of stagnated as available land for single family filled up, and family sizes declined as result of end of baby boom, and maturation of baby boom families.   Since then it has experienced considerable growth, which must be from higher density development, and singles preferring to live nearer their job and rent, than commuting from nearly Rome or Macon.

In 1980, Gwinnett and Clayton reached past 100K:

Fulton 589K (a small drop); DeKalb 483K; Cobb 297K; Gwinnett 166K; and Clayton 150K.  Gwinnett is about 3 times the size of Clayton, so Clayton might reasonably be considered the 4th county.

By 1990 there were no new counties over 100K.  Fulton 648K, DeKalb 545K, Cobb 447K, Gwinnet 352K, and Clayton 259K.

By 2010, there were 10 new counties of over 100K, with populations doubling, tripling, even quadrupling (Forsyth).

Meanwhile, the core counties had barely managed to increase by 50%: Fulton 920K, DeKalb 692K, Cobb 688K, and Clayton 259K.   Gwinnett with plenty of space now has 805K.  The connection of Gwinnett is also somewhat accidental due to Fulton's odd shape after its annexation  of a rural county in the 1930s.

So the basis of my district is the core 4 counties of the Atlanta metro, along with counties that fit between them: Douglas, Fayette, and Henry.  Even if there is some local knowledge of where the Fall Line is, a large city like Atlanta overwhelms that, as siting of cities does not depend on waterwheels.  I think to the other counties to the south, that the areas to the north are seen as quite remote.

I would let any county other than Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett to vote on their district.

Incidentally, there is a fairly serious effort to reconstitute Milton County, which is the northern area including Alpharetta and Sandy Springs.  It faces a limit of 159 counties in the Georgia Constitution.  As a sweetener, they would permit a merged Atlanta-Fulton government, similar to Columbus-Muscogee and Athens-Clarke.

Quote
Quote
The GA plan may be a compromise, but it doesn't particularly follow the rules. If the split between the Atlanta UCC and the rest of north GA is too unequal, then there should be a CoI justification. I would suggest using minority representation based on BVAP. This map shows counties shaded for 25-33.3%, 33.3-40%, 40-50%, and 50%+.



If one selects the Atlanta UCC counties that exceed 33.3% BVAP, those seven counties have a population of 2393K. That is 0.74 of the quota size for GA so it exceeds the 2/3 rule. The remainder in the north is 4253K and is 1.32 of the GA quota which is less than 4/3. This is a compromise in the spirit of the rules.
Does race form a geographic COI?


This was the question I posed a couple of weeks ago to train. He was using media markets while I was using census-based metro areas. Atlanta metro is large so the question of internal CoI comes up when looking for a split. Areas of a high proportion of a demographic group are very much what the states have used and the courts supported for CoI. Race is one of those demographic groups that has meaning in Atlanta. I used a rational basis that could get public support, and why not name it after the most prominent resident recognized with a national holiday.
The Gingles test requires racially-polarized voting.  If there is an extreme political difference, can the two groups be considered to form a single community?
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 09:22:13 pm
If Ventura was given its choice of district:

(1) Silicon Valley-Central Coast;
(2) San Joaquin Valley;
(3) Orange County;
(4,5) One of the suburban LA districts;

which would they choose?

Suburban Los Angeles, absolutely. There's not even any question in that regard. Ventura County is suburban Los Angeles. Orange County would be awkward because of non-contiguity but not terrible. The San Joaquin Valley would make very little sense but it would still be better than a connection with San Jose.

Rank these:

[ ] San Gabriel&Antelope Valleys, includes Lancaster-Palmdale, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel valley including Pasadena, plus Glendale and Burbank.

[ ] City of Los Angeles, includes the city plus enclaves such as Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and the city of San Fernando, and the area of western LA County (Malibu on north to Ventura County).

[ ] Los Angeles South, includes suburbs to the south of LA and the San Gabriel valleys, on both sides of the city of LA's harbor extension (eg Inglewood, Torrance, Palos Verde, East Los Angeles, Whittier, Long Beach, Compton, Bellflower, etc.

[ ] Silicon Valley-Central Coast;

[ ] San Joaquin Valley;

[ ] Orange County;
55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 09:08:57 pm
Just so I understand, I'm prepared to take the following as the revised criteria:



I want to test on a body that has a size comparable to a legislature and which the districts are are of coarsely comparable sizes.  For my model, I have chosen a 100-member House of Representatives, the apportionment of which is shown in the map above.

What I need are districting plans for the 22 states that have more than one representative.

Guidelines:

(1) Don't split counties, with the possible exceptions of Los Angeles, CA and Cook, IL.  New York City may simply be treated as 5 counties, though of course they likely form communities of interest. Split counties should only be combined with other counties to avoid violations of population range.

(2) Strong community of interest.

(3) Coarse equality.  Precise equality is undesirable.  Even equality within 10% of the average for the state is not so good, unless it just happens to match a community of interest.  As a general guideline, try to kKeep districts in the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota for the state average quota for states with more than one district (3,394,813).  You may go outside with justification. Examples of justification include keeping counties intact, avoiding out-of range districts elsewhere in the state, and significant unavoidable violations of communities of interest.

(4) Connectivity is not a requirement, at this scale.  Contiguity might be waived in instances where there is a central district that spans across a state. For example, Cape Cod could be linked to western MA to keep the Boston metro intact within population range.

(5) Assume there is some mechanism in place to act as a check of excessively partisan plans.

(6) Plans may be subject to state plebiscites, so be prepared to advocate to the state voters that your plan should be adopted.

(7) Provide 2010 Census populations for the districts.  These will be adjusted based on the apportionment populations which include certain overseas Americans.

(7a) Provide electoral data for the 2008 presidential election for each district.

(7b) Provide each district with should have a name, with the state name as the prefix part of the name. For example, CA San Joaquin Valley.
My comments:

(1) I'm not totally averse to adding Ventura County to part of Los Angeles.  I didn't really like the San Emigdio district.   That part of the city of Los Angeles is immediately adjacent to Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks is somewhat of a problem.  I suspect that whenever Los Angeles County became a single district, that Ventura would have been placed with either Orange County, or portions of Central California.

Proposed new wording:

(3) Districts should be within 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the average quota for states with more than one district (3,994,813)  Range: 2,263,209 to 4,526,417.

Districts in two-district states may range from between 90% and 110% of the state average, if such limits exceed the national limits.

The limits may be exceeded in exceptional cases, with justification.  Examples of justification include keeping counties intact, avoiding out-of range districts elsewhere in the state, and significant unavoidable violations of communities of interest.

Guidance: Districts should be analogous to globs of clay, similar in size, rather than blocks of clay that are carefully carved with a scalpel and weighed on a scale.  Districts should represent communities of interest, when possible.  But population can not be totally ignored.

(7) I don't think I will adjust the population to the apportionment population (overseas population).

(7b) Provide each district with a name.  If the name does not include the name of the state, affix the postal abbreviation of its state.   Example: San Joaquin Valley (CA).

Note: I am prepared to accept names like North Jersey, but will likely include the (NJ) just to provide a consistency with a name such as East Carolina (NC).
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 17, 2014, 07:03:06 pm
100% White (rural AUT)
Does the Austrian census (if such exists) show the population by country of birth?
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 17, 2014, 01:08:12 pm
USF's precinct (not sure if students are counted as residents in it though, so it may not be representative):

White 53%
Asian 26%
Hispanic 10%
Black 5%
Multiracial 5%
If they lived in student housing (or off-campus as well) they would.  Note that whites in the 18-21 YO range are one of the few groups to be overcounted, because their parents include them at "home" and they are also included as living at school.  If they are in a dorm, there is a different census form, since they aren't considered as part of households.  If they are off campus in an apartment, they aren't treated differently than someone who had just moved to the city before the census.  I'd suspect that off-campus students might be under-reported.  They might ignore mail, and have moved by the time the census tries to count them.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 17, 2014, 01:00:56 pm
4. Post here.

70% Anglo
16% Hispanic
8% Asian
4% Black
2% multiracial.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Population of the US by State 1790-2010 on: July 17, 2014, 12:53:46 pm
I made (and finally finished) an excel chart that has all the populations for all the states from 1790 to 2010. I want to share them here, with their percentage growth by the years. I will add states to the census after the state was created.

1790 Census:

1. Virginia: 691,737
2. Pennsylvania: 434,373
3. North Carolina: 393,751
4. Massachusetts: 378,787
5. New York: 340,120
6. Maryland: 319,728
7. South Carolina: 249,073
8. Connecticut: 237,946
9. New Jersey: 184,139
10. New Hampshire: 141,885
11. Georgia: 82,548
12. Rhode Island: 68,825
13. Delaware: 59,096

Non-state territory: 347,206
Total Population: 3,929,214
I would include the population of KY with VA in 1790; WV with VA from 1790-1860; exclude the VA portion of DC from VA from 1800-1840; TN with NC in 1790; and include the population of ME with MA from 1790-1810.

The first census for Vermont was taken in 1791, and is conventionally included with the 1790 national census.  It would be the 14th state, and have a growth rate for 1800.

Kentucky was still part of Virginia in 1790.  It had applied to admission to the Union under the Articles of Confederation, but the Continental Congress, said that there was this constitution-thingy being considered, and that they should wait.  Delegates were elected from Kentucky to the Virginia ratifying convention, and it had its own district (Virginia 2nd among Virginia's 9th).

John Brown, who had served in the Virginia legislature, and been a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, was twice elected to Congress from the Kentucky district of Virginia.  When Kentucky became a state in 1792, Virginia's delegation was reduced to 9, and Brown was elected one of Kentucky's initial US Senators.

West Virginia was part of Virginia until 1863.  The Blue Ridge Mountains were typically used as the eastern boundary of congressional districts, so western Virginia districts would include the Shenandoah Valley, and what is now the southwestern tip of Tennessee.

Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820 (the census was after Maine statehood).  Just prior to statehood, seven of Massachusetts' 20 congressional districts were in Maine.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Population of the US by State 1790-2010 on: July 17, 2014, 12:05:30 pm
I have compiled a spreadsheet like that as well. It's very helpful for a lot of purposes.

Right now I'm trying to put my hand on some data about the racial/ethnic composition of each State's population, but so far I've only found complete data for 2000 and 2010.

http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu/

https://www.nhgis.org/

http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/pop1790-1990.html

61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 11:54:52 am
There seems to be a bit of a shift on the criteria for the districts. The initial rules said nothing about shape and provided for very loose conditions for connectivity. Discontiguous districts were even suggested if justified. OTOH, community of interest was made a strong requirement. Population equality is expected to take a back seat to CoI as well.

Quote
(3) Coarse equality.  Precise equality is undesirable.  Even equality within 10% of the average for the state is not so good, unless it just happens to match a community of interest. As a general guideline, try to keep districts in the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota for the state.  You may go outside with justification.
The example of a discontiguous district was when another (central) district spanned the state cutting another district into parts.  Think Massachusetts and Boston.   A disconnected district might link Whatcom and Skagit with Okanogan, if the other district was very Seattle-Tacomia centric.

Conventional sensibility would be try to make the districts quite similar in population; but then you risk a situation like in Cortland County.  I was trying to discourage that.

If the districts are within a range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota, it ensures that the largest district is not more than twice the size that of the smallest district.  That would be at the extreme end of "coarse equality", particularly since it is somewhat unlikely that you would be at both extremes.

This is also consistent with the overall apportionment which used the harmonic mean as the divisor, rather than the geometric or arithmetic mean.  If I were implementing this scheme for a state legislature, I would expect that districts would be limited to the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the statewide quota, with districts for the most part being unchanged so long as they remained within those limits.

I don't want to say never ever go outside those limits, but I don't think that Georgia provides a compelling enough case.
My confusion was with the text is your guidelines that I have bolded. My initial split had all the Atlanta UCC in one district, but that went beyond 4/3. Even though it seems to me that a whole UCC would fall within the meaning of a CoI and I set a hard upper limit of the population of the smallest state that was apportioned two seats, I can accept that the 4/3 of the quota is a much harder limit than I read it. If you can give an example of where you would accept a district in excess of 4/3 the quota it would help.
I've been rethinking a more formal standard.

Besides voting on formal motions, representatives make speeches, persuade colleagues, serve on committees, provide constituent services, are elected, and represent their communities.  In these roles they have equal weight, and so should represent districts of roughly comparable size.   The 2/3 to 4/3 standard ensures that no representative serves more than twice as many constituents/voters, and the deviation above and below the mean is equal, and is unlikely to have remarkably greater persuasive capacity based on his voting strength, nor that he has grossly greater difficulty providing constituency services, etc.

But the 2/3 to 4/3 standard should be applied to the whole body, rather than within individual areas.

Within this band, it is desirable to have a large degree of random variation.  Weighted voting breaks down when there are fewer members, or fewer weights.   Hopefully districts from 50 states, divided on the basis of community of interest (and whole counties) will mitigate this problem.

The mean population for 100 districts is 3,087,455 (I include DC with MD), and the 2/3 to 4/3 limits are 2,058,304 to 4,116,607.

14 small states (WV, NE, ID, HI, ME, NH, RI, MT, DE, SD, AK, ND, VT, WY) are below the limit, and
4 large undivided states are above the limit (AL, SC, LA, KY).  These are acceptable exceptions based on the constitutional requirement to provide representation to each state. 

The smaller states are not necessarily without influence, but it does reduce the effective size of the body for weighting purposes.   On the other hand, had weighting been the practice, the constitution might have been amended to provide representation for territories.

Virginia with two districts is barely above twice the upper maximum.  To keep both districts above the lower threshold requires at worst a 51.5%:48.5% split (as it turns out, your proposal actually complies with a 50.5%:49.5% split).   Over the decades, it might require continued fidgeting with the boundaries.  It might also produce a bright spot of districts right at the limits.  On the other hand, if the statewide mean were used, a largest district could  have about 16/9, or 1.78% of the national mean.

So there might be a relaxed standard for states on the edges:

min( meanstate9/10, meannation2/3 )

max( meanstate11/10, meannation4/3 )


Were this a state legislature we might also combine counties:

HI-AK
ID-MT-WY
ME-NH-VT
NE-SD-ND
MD-DE (retaining 2 districts)
CT-RI (adding district, splitting CT with eastern part added to RI)
KY-WV (adding district, splitting KY with eastern part added to WV)
Adding districts to CA(11 total), TX(8), NY(6), FL(6), OH(4), AL(2), SC(2), LA(2)

This would leave 13 single member districts:

OR, OK, NE-SD-ND, ME-NH-VT, ID-MT-WY, IA, NS, AR, KS, UT, NV, HI-AK, NM.

All would be within the 2/3 to 4/3 of the national average.

The mean for the 87 districts in the multi-district areas is 3,123,004; for the 13 single-district areas 2,974,121; vs 3,087,455.  Similar results should be achievable for a state legislature.

LA and VA would be subject to the relaxed limits that would permit a district slightly outside the national limits.

For our purposes, and to avoid redistricting of 10 states, we can use the mean of the multi-district states, which is 3,394,813 (the mean for the single district states is 2,297,107).

The 4/3 and 2/3 limits are 4,526,417 to 2,263,209

For your proposal this would put the following out of range:

CA San Gabriel above.  This could be fixed by moving Pasadena and at least its northern neighbors to San Emigdio.

WA Columbia is underpopulated.  Moving northward to include Lewis and the coast could put it into range, as would an alternative of a very Seattle-centric district (4 counties).

TX Western Gulf below and Permian Basin above.  I would have created a Central Texas district (San Antonio and Austin), with a Borders district from El Paso to Brownsville and up to Corpus Christi, with the remainder of the Western Gulf being moved to East Texas.  This might leave the remainder of West Texas underpopulated.

MN Itasca is underpopulated.  Moving Sherburne and perhaps Wright fixes that.

MO Ozarks is underpopulated.  Moving Vernon and Bates makes that within range.  Is there something distinctively "northern" about them?  Coming across the north of the state to connect St.Louis and Kansas City is pretty radical as it is, is there a reason to extend the finger further south?  I'd like to see an east-west split, and perhaps a St.Louis-Kansas City district (two unconnected metro areas), or a Missouri River district with northern and southern rural areas separated.   The Missouri River district would include Columbia, Jefferson City, and probably extend north to St.Joseph.

MI Wayne is underpopulated.  Adding Oakland and Macomb, and shifting the Lansing 3 counties should balance that.

FL Everglades is overpopulated.  My proposal splits off the west coast, but my Tampa Bay is overpopulated.  Possibly shifting Citrus and Hernando north, since I've dropped down to Ft.Myers.  Your Cape Canaveral shows as being overpopulated, but that is because you included Lake, Hernando, and Citrus in its population (or your map is wrong).

GA Blue Ridge is underpopulated and Kennesaw overpopulated, but we are already discussing that.

NC Blue Ridge is underpopulated (isn't the Blue Ridge most associated with VA?).  Adding Charlotte or Greensboro would correct that, but would mess up the other districts.  Does Asheville-Charlotte, Greensboro-Raleigh, and Wilmington-Fayetteville and whatever we can stuff into it work?

NJ Pinelands is too small, but I like Train's map better.

NY Ontario is overpopulated, but counties like Jefferson, Delaware, Otsego, etc. would work OK.

NY Brooklyn is overpopulated but may be acceptable as an exception that avoids splitting counties.  Queens alone is barely below the minimum, but that would make 3 LI districts, and force the two non-LI districts close to 6 million each.

PA Philadelphia is underpopulated.   Adding in the 3 adjacent counties is right near the national mean.   This would leave the remnant of Delaware underpopulated, so it would have to include Wilkes-Barre and Scranton and the rest of NE PA.  This would make Susquehanna as Harrisburg-Lancaster-York-Reading district in the south central part of the state.  State College and Altoona may need to be shifted as well.

MA Berkshires is underpopulated.  I would add the southern part of the state (Bristol-Plymouth-Barnstable, Duke and Nantucket.  Splitting Middlesex doesn't really solve the problem.  If you are using towns, then you could argue that the Boros belong with Boston area.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 14, 2014, 03:35:07 am
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.
IL (4)
   IL-Chicago 2696K
   IL-Cook 2499K (all of the county except the city)
   IL-Fox and Kankakee 3505K
   IL-Great Rivers 4131K
Alternative names:

Chicago;
Cook County;
Chicagoland;
Illinois, Prairie State; Land of Lincoln.

History

Illinois underwent Floridian growth, jumping from 20th to 4th between 1830 and 1860.

Illinois gained its 2nd representative in 1850, after narrowly missing in 1840.  It gained a 3rd in 1860, and a 4th in 1870.  It flirted with a 5th, before finally reaching that level in 1900.  It moved somewhat closer to a 6th before fading, and dropping down to 4 districts in 1980.

Presumably it was a 3:2 split before 1980, with the two non-Chicago districts being somewhat smaller.  It would make sense to merge them, and perhaps shed some counties such as DeKalb, Grundy, and Kankakee.
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 14, 2014, 03:18:30 am
There seems to be a bit of a shift on the criteria for the districts. The initial rules said nothing about shape and provided for very loose conditions for connectivity. Discontiguous districts were even suggested if justified. OTOH, community of interest was made a strong requirement. Population equality is expected to take a back seat to CoI as well.

Quote
(3) Coarse equality.  Precise equality is undesirable.  Even equality within 10% of the average for the state is not so good, unless it just happens to match a community of interest. As a general guideline, try to keep districts in the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota for the state.  You may go outside with justification.
The example of a discontiguous district was when another (central) district spanned the state cutting another district into parts.  Think Massachusetts and Boston.   A disconnected district might link Whatcom and Skagit with Okanogan, if the other district was very Seattle-Tacomia centric.

Conventional sensibility would be try to make the districts quite similar in population; but then you risk a situation like in Cortland County.  I was trying to discourage that.

If the districts are within a range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota, it ensures that the largest district is not more than twice the size that of the smallest district.  That would be at the extreme end of "coarse equality", particularly since it is somewhat unlikely that you would be at both extremes.

This is also consistent with the overall apportionment which used the harmonic mean as the divisor, rather than the geometric or arithmetic mean.  If I were implementing this scheme for a state legislature, I would expect that districts would be limited to the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the statewide quota, with districts for the most part being unchanged so long as they remained within those limits.

I don't want to say never ever go outside those limits, but I don't think that Georgia provides a compelling enough case.

One particular county that resulted in my switch was Carroll County, which has double in population to over 110,000 in the 3 decades from 1980-2010, with the growth concentrated on the panhandle crossed by I-20.  It is thus similar to Sherburne County in Minnesota - where interstate access makes longer distance commuting possible.  So you have cut the doughnut along the Alabama line.

I don't see the COI that the southern fringe of your district has with Rome and Dalton.  Were they "North Georgia" before someone dropped the A(tlanta)-Bomb on the area?

Quote
The GA plan may be a compromise, but it doesn't particularly follow the rules. If the split between the Atlanta UCC and the rest of north GA is too unequal, then there should be a CoI justification. I would suggest using minority representation based on BVAP. This map shows counties shaded for 25-33.3%, 33.3-40%, 40-50%, and 50%+.



If one selects the Atlanta UCC counties that exceed 33.3% BVAP, those seven counties have a population of 2393K. That is 0.74 of the quota size for GA so it exceeds the 2/3 rule. The remainder in the north is 4253K and is 1.32 of the GA quota which is less than 4/3. This is a compromise in the spirit of the rules.
Does race form a geographic COI?

Quote
Since I abhor dull names for this exercise, I prefer geographic names that would be identifiable by residents of the state even if they are not inclusive of the entire area. Naming the district after a famous person from the district would beat a dull name here. Directional names should only be used when they are part of a specific geographic feature, and city or county names should be reserved for districts that comprise only the city or county in question. My revised GA plan based on the above CoI would be as follows.



Kennesaw Mt: 4253K, Obama 34.7%, McCain 64.4%
King: 2393K, 46.1% BVAP, Obama 68.6%, McCain 30.8%
Ocmulgee: 3041K, Obama 45.6%, McCain 53.8%
Vice President King was from Alabama.

The founders were strict republicans.  I suspect they would have established a pattern of dull names.

And why give preference to the Ocmulgee over the Savannah or Chattahoochee?
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 12, 2014, 08:38:19 pm
Georgia is, for all its zillions of counties, really easy to do.  And even with the mandate for coarse equality it all ends up being well within plus or minus 10 percent.



District 1: SOUTH GEORGIA.  Population 3,013,994 (deviation -215,224).  Obama 45.7%, Dem 48.0%.  36% Black (34% Black VAP).  I used the Atlanta media market as the dividing line here: everything south of it is in 1, everything within it (plus the few peripheral northern counties in other markets such as Rome) in 2 and 3.  Likely R, there's an opening for a Blue Dog in a good year here, but it's probably a narrow one.

District 2: ATLANTA.  Population 3,365,297 (deviation +136,079).  Obama 61.4%, Dem 58.2%.  40W/38B/13H (44W/37B/11H VAP), so min-maj.  These five counties were the original Atlanta metro area in 1950 and I imagine they're still considered to be the core of it today.  Obviously the exurbs spill far out into District 3 by now.  Safe D.

District 3: NORTH GEORGIA.  Population 3,308,362 (deviation +79,144).  Obama 36.6%, Dem 35.9%.  Pretty self-explanatory.  Safe R.
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.



GA (3)
   GA-Blue Ridge 1688K
   GA-Kennesaw 4901K
   GA-Okefenoke 3099K

This is somewhat of compromise between the two plans.  To achieve more population balance,  Train closely limited the Atlanta district.   To be more inclusive, Muon left the northern district severely underpopulated, and also ended up with a narrow southern and western wisp of a doughnut.

I started out with Train's map, adding up the population for a couple of tiers of northern counties.   I then took his Atlanta core, and began adding suburban counties that contained over 100,000 persons and had multiplied in population over the past few decades (5X over 30 years is not uncommon).   I realized I was quickly eating into the population needed for the northern district.

There are too many people in the Atlanta area for a single district; but if you tried to put them in two districts, you end up with a district with Dalton and Valdosta together.  So I instead did an asymmetric split, with northern counties such as Cherokee, Forsyth, and Gwinnett going into the northern district, and letting the Atlanta district to extend down to meet the South Georgia district.

If you count Paulding, Bartow, and Walton along with the other 3, about half the population of the North Georgia district is in the Atlanta metropolitan area, but it also has a regional core arcing from Rome and Dalton to Hallsville and Athens.



North Georgia 2982
Atlanta 3539
South Georgia 3167

History

Georgia had one representative from 1790 through 1810 when it gained its second.  Because of its large area (it is the largest state in the cis-Mississippi) it was able to maintain a population share as a rural area.   The booming Atlanta area resulted in a 3rd district in 2000.

It is likely that an initial split would have been Northwest/Southeast with the upland district extending down the Alabama border.  Over time it might have shifted to more of a north-south configuration.   As time went on the border may have moved northward, particularly after Atlanta began to expand (in 1950 Cobb had only reached 61K) so as to keep 1/3 of the population in the south.   So it would probably have made sense to carve an Atlanta district out of the much more populous northern district.

Hawaii and Idaho have always had one representative.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 11, 2014, 01:59:55 pm
Edit: Moved Hernando and Citrus to North Florida to keep Tampa Bay within limits.

FL (5)
   FL-Apalachicola 3326K
   FL-Tampa Bay 3634K
   FL-Cape Canaveral 4747K
   FL-Miami-Dade 2496K
   FL-Everglades 4598K
I think you shifted the population from Polk, Hernando, and Citrus from Tampa Bay into Cape Canaveral.

In any event, I think that all of the west coast belongs with Tampa Bay, and Key West with Miami.  To make that possible, I did move Polk to the east.  It is in between Orlando and Tampa.  Though the southeastdistrict is really Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, I included all of the counties that share Lake Okeechobee, as well as Highlands because it makes a neater border.  I also shifted Marion.  It is getting a little distant from Orlando, and it makes for a bit more population balance, particularly with Polk moved east.



North Florida 3971
Tampa Bay 4476
Central Florida 4102
Southeast Florida 3683
Miami 2570

Names

Apalachicola is too exclusive for a district that stretches from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Ocala.

Gulf Coast might also be OK.

Cape Canaveral is maybe, but excludes the largest city.

Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach, or Okeechobee is also possible.  Everglades might also refer to a couple of other districts.

Miami-Dade is too specific to local government structures.  "Miami-Dade" might just mean no one had heard of Dade County, but everyone knows where Miami is.

History

Florida was long a backwater, and was 28th ranked as late as 1940.

1950: It jumped to 21st and gained its 2nd representative.
1960: It jumped to 10th, skipping over 6 Southern states.
1970: To 9th and gaining a 3rd representative.
1980: To 7th and adding a 4th representative.
1990: To 4th and adding a 5th representative.
2000: No change.
2010: No change (between 1990 and 2010, Florida cut the gap with New York from 5 million to 500,000.
66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 11, 2014, 01:06:09 pm
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.

CO (2)
   CO-Red Rocks 2490K
   CO-Front Range 2540K

Your map doesn't include Broomfield, but you put in the Denver district.  Your names are not clearly associated with either district.

Very few people live in the Front Range, but they live along the Front Range.  It is conventionally applied from Wyoming to Colorado Springs, though the Front Range does not extend that far south (Pikes Peak is an outlier).  It sounds better than I-25 corridor.  Most of the people in the area live in the Denver district.

A particular instance of the Fountain Formation is near Denver, the most significant instance is near Colorado Springs.

Alternative names:

Denver; Mile High;

Colorado; Centennial State; Mountains&Plains.

History:

For CO I felt that names should reflect mountain features. I own property in CO, and in my experience most people in the state would recognize Red Rocks as the jewel of the Denver Mountain Park system with its world famous amphitheater. Though the Front Range extends into WY it is most associated with CO. It's visible from the eastern plains, the home to most of the population even without the Denver metro, and dominates transportation from the western part of the state to the population centers.
Why wouldn't you consider the parks on Mount Evans, the most prominent peak on the Front Range, the jewels of the Denver Mountain Park system?

Summit Lake is the jewel of Denver's century-old mountain-park system

About half of the schools in the Front Range league are in the Denver area.  "Front Range" is either too exclusive, representing the area north of Denver (Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins, etc.), an area that represents perhaps 1/3 of the district; or too inclusive including Denver, as a way of saying "Greater Denver" without really saying so, which puts about 2/3 of the population of the area in another district.
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 11, 2014, 02:39:13 am
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.

CO (2)
   CO-Red Rocks 2490K
   CO-Front Range 2540K

Your map doesn't include Broomfield, but you put in the Denver district.  Your names are not clearly associated with either district.

Very few people live in the Front Range, but they live along the Front Range.  It is conventionally applied from Wyoming to Colorado Springs, though the Front Range does not extend that far south (Pikes Peak is an outlier).  It sounds better than I-25 corridor.  Most of the people in the area live in the Denver district.

A particular instance of the Fountain Formation is near Denver, the most significant instance is near Colorado Springs.

Alternative names:

Denver; Mile High;

Colorado; Centennial State; Mountains&Plains.

History:

Colorado gained its 2nd representative in 2010.

Connecticut had two representatives in 1800.  It was the 8th most populous state in 1790, but had dropped to 31st by 1910.  It slowly climbed the ladder, reaching 24th in 1970 as a result of New York exurban growth into western Fairfield County.  At that point it was only 4 places from regaining a 2nd district.   Since then it has faded to 29th, and has averaged 0.4% annual growth over the 40 years from 1970-2010.

Delaware has always had one representative.

Congress continued to include the population of the District of Columbia in the Maryland (and Virginia) populations.  At first it was a tiny portion of the population, but later became critical to Maryland maintaining two districts.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why is the rural Midwest "easier" to live in than the rural/suburban South? on: July 10, 2014, 11:43:47 pm
To illustrate the impact of the variables, consider the following two counties. Meigs county TN (pop 11,753) is a rural county that sits along the Tennessee river and has a county seat 47 mi from Chattanooga (pop 167,674). Lyon county IA (pop 11,581) is a rural county that sits along the Missouri river and has a county seat 32 mi from Sioux Falls (pop 153,888). Both counties are over 95% white. They sound pretty similar based on this level of geography.

Now look at their scores. Meigs has a median income of $33,492, 7.8% college educated, 9.9% unemployment, 2.4% disabled, life expectancy 74.1 years, and 41% obese. Lyon has a median income of $49,727, 16.3% college educated, 2.7% unemployment, 0.3% disabled, life expectancy 79.3 years, and 35% obese. No surprise that out of 3,135 counties, Meigs is 2,932 and Lyon is 321.

I didn't spend much time looking for these counties, I just picked two from their respective regions that were rural, equal population, and with some similar demographics. You could find many similar examples in short order. Note they they vary a lot on most all the measures, so my guess is that no matter what socioeconomic variables one thinks is important these two will tend to be quite different in overall score. With better education, more jobs, and income to match, arguably rural Midwestern life is not as difficult as that of the South.
The rural midwest may have a population that better matches that which can be supported by agriculture.  It is far enough west that water is a problem, so that a family farmer with a horse-drawn plow might not be able to cultivate enough land.  But mechanization of farming and transport, and burgeoning city populations made it possible for larger land-holdings to be successively farmed.  The excess population moved.

In the rural south there were smaller landholdings, and persons sharecropping or subsistence agriculture.   Subsistence is fine, as long as you don't want to buy a car, or own a TV, or need to see a doctor.  Otherwise, it is an alternative spelling for poor.

Meigs County largest factory is a 400-employee yarn spinning mill.  Those can't be high-skilled or high-paying jobs.  It also has a lake along the Tennessee River.  Its population has increased by about 50% - which I suspect is recreation related - lake houses, perhaps retirement homes.  But it would likely be frugal retirees who can stretch their income.  The people who do the work may have made a lifestyle choice.  They can live in the area for less, and enjoy the recreational opportunities.
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 10, 2014, 10:42:21 pm
CA (10)
I didn't want to pull Shasta into the Bay Area through Napa and Sonoma, and that left me with too much for Santa Cruz. Certainly one can make that shift if the priority is to keep LAC from combining with anything adjacent. It does make balancing a bit harder since LAC minus the city leaves two districts of about 0.8 of the quota, and Orange is about the same. CA already has an above average district size.
My emphasis.

California had 11 districts in 1990, but lost one when burgeoning populations in mid-sized Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona caused it to miss the last seat.  It had barely added the 11th seat in 1990, when it added two, so that was somewhat of an overshoot.

It is conceivable that the apportionment rule could grandfather in the number of districts from a previous apportionment, so long as the individual districts remain within some national range.

In 1789, Congress apportioned twice as many representatives as there were states (13x2 = 26).   When a new state joined the Union, they were given one representative.  After the next census, additional representatives were apportioned.

California had one representative from statehood through 1880, and two representatives form 1890 through 1910, at which time it began to add representatives almost every decade.

1920: 3
1930: 4
1940: 4
1950: 6
1960: 7
1970: 8
1980: 9
1990: 11
2000: 10
2010: 10

Other states:

Alabama had one representative from statehood in 1819 through 1830; then two representatives from 1840 through 1990; it has had one representative since 2000, and it has been 101st in line for an additional representative.

Arizona gained its 2nd representative in 2000.

Arkansas had one representative from statehood in 1836 through 1890; it had two representatives in 1900 and 1910; and then dropped back to one.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 10, 2014, 09:00:31 pm


This map doesn't work at all for reasons that have already been discussed. There's no possible configuration in which Palo Alto and Thousand Oaks can belong to the same district.
If Ventura was given its choice of district:

(1) Silicon Valley-Central Coast;
(2) San Joaquin Valley;
(3) Orange County;
(4,5) One of the suburban LA districts;

which would they choose?
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 10, 2014, 04:20:26 pm
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.



CA (10)
   CA-Shasta 3368K
   CA-San Pablo Bay 3845K
   CA-Santa Cruz 4308K
   CA-San Joaquin Valley 4129K
   CA-San Emigdio 2538K (including LAC areas north and west of LA including pockets within LA)
   CA-San Gabriel 4735K (the area east and south of LA including the Torrance pocket)
   CA-Los Angeles 3793K (just the city)
   CA-Santa Ana 3010K
   CA-San Bernardino 4258K
   CA-Palomar 3270K
This is my alternative.





I wanted to have a district centered on the San Francisco Bay area, and wanted to keep the Los Angeles districts in the county.

Northern California 4402K
San Francisco Bay 4335K
Silicon Valley-Central Coast 4032K
San Joaquin Valley 4129K
Inland Empire 4432K
San Gabriel&Antelope Valleys 2796K
City of Los Angeles 4134K
Los Angeles South 2889K
Orange County 3010K
San Diego 3095K

Alternative names include:

Shasta;
Golden Gate;
Central Coast-Silicon Valley; Central Coast;

Local option for:

Imperial;
Alpine;
Mono and Inyo;
Sonoma, Napa, and Solano;
Amador;

Los Angeles enclaves;
Western Los Angles County (Malibu, Calabasas, etc.) as a block.
City on a boundary (may be subject to population limits).
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the most heavily-Latino CD for your state on: July 10, 2014, 01:42:51 am
What's the maximum percentage you can achieve on a congressional district level in terms of Latino population?
TX-34 is 82.7% Hispanic.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 10, 2014, 01:34:48 am
And the districts with their populations:

CA (10)
   CA-Shasta 3368K
   CA-San Pablo Bay 3845K
   CA-Santa Cruz 4308K
   CA-San Joaquin Valley 4129K
   CA-San Emigdio 2538K (including LAC areas north and west of LA including pockets within LA)
   CA-San Gabriel 4735K (the area east and south of LA including the Torrance pocket)
   CA-Los Angeles 3793K (just the city)
   CA-Santa Ana 3010K
   CA-San Bernardino 4258K
   CA-Palomar 3270K
Does San Emigdio swing around to include Claremont and Pomona?

How far north does the Torrance pocket go?  Inglewood?  Culver City?


I used the Census CCDs in LAC to define the districts. San Emigdio has the following CCDs less the city of LA:
North Antelope Valley
South Antelope Valley
Newhall
San Fernando Valley
Agoura Hills-Malibu
Los Angeles (which includes Culver City among other communities)
Santa Monica

San Gabriel is the following CCDs:
Pasadena
Upper San Gabriel Valley
East San Gabriel Valley
Southwest San Gabriel Valley
South Gate-East Los Angeles
Whittier
Downey-Norwalk
Long Beach-Lakewood
Compton
Inglewood
South Bay Cities
Torrance
Palos Verdes

San Ferndando Valley CCD includes Burbank and Glendale.  That is the population I couldn't find.

I tried to do a two-way split of Los Angeles County in order to get a 2nd district in Northern California.   But that ended up having to include Marin and San Joaquin in the northern districts.  There just aren't enough people for two districts.   The "Northern Coast" has to take in everything in the Central Valley north of Sacramento, leaving the other district as Greater Sacramento (Sacramento, Stockton, and Davis).

I think my alternative will be 3 districts wholly in Los Angeles County.
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 09, 2014, 03:42:06 pm
And the districts with their populations:

CA (10)
   CA-Shasta 3368K
   CA-San Pablo Bay 3845K
   CA-Santa Cruz 4308K
   CA-San Joaquin Valley 4129K
   CA-San Emigdio 2538K (including LAC areas north and west of LA including pockets within LA)
   CA-San Gabriel 4735K (the area east and south of LA including the Torrance pocket)
   CA-Los Angeles 3793K (just the city)
   CA-Santa Ana 3010K
   CA-San Bernardino 4258K
   CA-Palomar 3270K
Does San Emigdio swing around to include Claremont and Pomona?

How far north does the Torrance pocket go?  Inglewood?  Culver City?
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: July 06, 2014, 05:32:42 am
The 1970s saw a 7.5% drop in the population of Nassau County, as baby boomers left home for Nassau County where they could afford to live, or NYC where they couldn't afford to live, but wanted to, and higher density infill development had not begun.  Nonetheless the relative proportions of population had not changed much.

If population had been used directly for weights, the result would have been the same as the previous decades, with all power held by the three supervisors from Hempstead and Oyster Bay, any two of which formed a majority.

Threshold = 661
Town           Vote   Swing  R.Pop.  R.Pow   Dev.  
Hempstead        369      16  55.88%  66.67%  19.30%
                 369
Oyster Bay       306      16  23.14%  33.33%  44.08%
North Hempstead  219       0  16.54%   0.00%-100.00%
Long Beach        34       0   2.58%   0.00%-100.00%
Glen Cove         25       0   1.86%   0.00%-100.00%

If the threshold was increased slightly to 710 (53.7% of the total vote) the results are much better.

Threshold = 710
Town           Vote   Swing  R.Pop.  R.Pow   Dev.  
Hempstead        369      16  55.88%  61.54%  10.12%
                 369      16
Oyster Bay       306      10  23.14%  19.23% -16.88%
North Hempstead  219       6  16.54%  11.54% -30.25%
Long Beach        34       2   2.58%   3.85%  49.18%
Glen Cove         25       2   1.86%   3.85% 106.48%

Instead the voting weights were wildly manipulated, and the "majority" threshold set to 65 (60.2% of the total vote of 108).

Threshold = 65
Town           Vote   Swing  R.Pop.  R.Pow   Dev.  
Hempstead         30      15  55.88%  53.85%  -3.64%
                  28      13
Oyster Bay        22      11  23.14%  21.15%  -8.56%
North Hempstead   15       9  16.54%  17.31%   4.62%
Long Beach         7       3   2.58%   5.77% 123.77%
Glen Cove          6       1   1.86%   1.92%   3.24%

Coalitions that represented as much as 57.7% of the population would fail to win a vote.

Legal challenges moved to the federal courts after the 1980 reapportionment.   In League of Women Voters v Nassau County Bd. 737 F.2d 155 (1984), the 2nd Circuit upheld the apportionment scheme.  In doing so, they essentially said that the issues were the same as that in the 1970s, when the SCOTUS had summarily rejected an appeal from the New York courts.

In particular, the court found that the use of deviation between the power share and population share could be measured as the arithmetic difference, rather than using the relative deviation.

For example, Long Beach had 2.58% of the population, and its supervisor 5.77% of the voting power.  The courts had measured this as a 3.19% deviation (5.77% - 2.58%) rather than 123.77% relative deviation (5.77% - 2.58%)/2.58%.

The court warbled on about how this was how it had been presented to the SCOTUS in the 1970s, and that the SCOTUS had suggested flexibility and there can be no single mathematical method.

But it is the voter that is denied equal protection, and you simply can't say that a voter in Long Beach has only 3.19% additional voting power.

You might as well say that each person in Long Beach represents 0.000076% of the county population and has 0.000169% of the total voting power, and therefore is only overrepresented by 0.000094%, or less than 1 part in a million.
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