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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Most inelastic urban Democratic county on: April 02, 2015, 02:30:39 pm
Why do you say Orleans?

I know LA-2 doesn't exactly match Orleans obviously, but Joseph Cao managed to win. Obviously there was an indicted incumbent, but there are certainly counties that are so inelastic that it wouldn't matter.
It took two hurricane, an indicted Congressman and two elections.

52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 02, 2015, 02:16:01 pm
Not to beat the drum until it has no sound, but why was the "earmuff" so unpopular? I mean, your Hispanic CD is itself butt ugly erose, in fact to my "artistic" eyes more ugly than my little modest earmuff.

I'm not sure, but C-shaped districts seem to be particularly odious to the good government crowd. The distaste for that shape even colors the IA constitution.

Quote
Congressional districts. SEC. 37. When a congressional district is composed of two or more counties it shall not be entirely separated by a county belonging to another district and no county shall be divided in forming a congressional district.
They bypass a population, and you end up traveling through another district.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which state do you think has the biggest rural-urban divide? on: March 30, 2015, 05:44:05 pm
NV and MO
NV has no rural population.
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: March 27, 2015, 10:50:06 am
Loving County, Texas population crashes 17% from 2013 after booming 24% the year before.
The Smiths moved back to Pecos.  The long bus ride to Wink was hard on the kids, so they decided it was better for Joe to commute back and forth.
55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: March 26, 2015, 09:58:06 pm
Here's the top 10 fastest-growing counties by percentage increase from 2013 to 2014 in counties with an estimated population of 10,000 or more as of July 1, 2014, the principal city/region and likely reason for the increase:

And the bottom 5:
2) Hale, TX -3.0% (Plainview; Rural, in between Lubbock and Amarillo, but not close enough to either for sprawl)
Cargill closed a meatpacking plant in January 2013 that employed 2200 persons.  The unemployment rate went from 5.4% to 13.1% by July, and had dropped down to 11.4% in November, 2013.  At that time, the unemployment rate was 4.5% in Lubbock and 2.9% in Midland.
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 23, 2015, 11:38:11 pm
You  have a double chop of Paradise. One precinct from your NV-4 is entirely within Paradise, and two or three more have most of their population in Paradise. I could have done a double chop of Paradise too, but decided it better to do the second chop in another jurisdiction (not sure of the name of the place directly east of Las Vegas).

Thanks for the catch. I thought I had all overlapping precincts. If I place that one in CD 1 the population is still OK. If I place the overlapping precincts (or some fraction of them) in CD 1 then CD 4 needs to pick up the shore of Lake Mead and Moapa Valley to rebalance the population with some loss of erosity (but not that much since it's largely open desert). That gets the Clark muni chop back to 1.

Well, another difficulty in NV (and, really, in much of the South and West) is that precincts don't line up with town lines.  Like, okay, you have to split Paradise because of all the precincts it shares with Enterprise and Winchester. 

I would think that there could, instead, be some sort of effort to fudge a standardized boundary that counts as non-chopped, and which is as close to actual as you can get.  (And, perhaps, that effort might want to make sure to distinguish between what are actual incorporated towns, and what are just CDPs.)

Cutting the voting districts to conform to town boundaries would be a good thing to do in reality... but we can't do so here in DRA.  You need to dig into the weeds of GIS to get it done.

...

As for those NV counties where the center of population and county seat are disconnected... possibly we could cut them and make fictitious counties which are internally contiguous, and draw based on that?
You could split the precincts on the city boundaries.



We are constrained to DRA for mapping software, and the 2010 data is given by VTD. If you know of another free web product that has finer granularity, I'm sure we'll be interested.
How many precincts are split?

You can export a precinct based CSV file from DRA.  It would be relatively simple to produced adjusted populations.
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 23, 2015, 12:26:50 am
You  have a double chop of Paradise. One precinct from your NV-4 is entirely within Paradise, and two or three more have most of their population in Paradise. I could have done a double chop of Paradise too, but decided it better to do the second chop in another jurisdiction (not sure of the name of the place directly east of Las Vegas).

Thanks for the catch. I thought I had all overlapping precincts. If I place that one in CD 1 the population is still OK. If I place the overlapping precincts (or some fraction of them) in CD 1 then CD 4 needs to pick up the shore of Lake Mead and Moapa Valley to rebalance the population with some loss of erosity (but not that much since it's largely open desert). That gets the Clark muni chop back to 1.

Well, another difficulty in NV (and, really, in much of the South and West) is that precincts don't line up with town lines.  Like, okay, you have to split Paradise because of all the precincts it shares with Enterprise and Winchester. 

I would think that there could, instead, be some sort of effort to fudge a standardized boundary that counts as non-chopped, and which is as close to actual as you can get.  (And, perhaps, that effort might want to make sure to distinguish between what are actual incorporated towns, and what are just CDPs.)

Cutting the voting districts to conform to town boundaries would be a good thing to do in reality... but we can't do so here in DRA.  You need to dig into the weeds of GIS to get it done.

...

As for those NV counties where the center of population and county seat are disconnected... possibly we could cut them and make fictitious counties which are internally contiguous, and draw based on that?
You could split the precincts on the city boundaries.

58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 21, 2015, 12:52:57 pm
I gave you the end of free microchops and start of penalties for UCC underpacks, so I think have been eminently reasonable when I comes to good ideas that have demonstrable value. However on this one there is public value to disallow any districts where you can't drive from one part of the district to another without passing through other districts. The only exception I consider is when a county is disconnected internally due to water, deserts or mountains and the plan keeps the county whole. As to the public acceptance I will simply cite the Washington state statute on redistricting (RCW 44.05.090), "Areas separated by geographical boundaries or artificial barriers that prevent transportation within a district should not be deemed contiguous." That is very good public policy IMO and has been recommended at many panels I have attended as a strong tool to fight gerrymandering.
What is an example of either a geographical boundary or artificial barrier that prevents transportation within a district?

In WA it is primarily the Cascades where major highways are needed to justify a link, and Puget Sound where only ferries and bridges count as connections. In principle it can apply to any other part of geography that interrupts transportation.
The Cascades and Puget Sound are not artificial barriers.

The two I listed are geographical. I believe that an example of an artificial barrier would be a road along a boundary between two areas without a road that separately connects into each of those areas.
Mountain ranges and bodies of water are not boundaries.   It appears that Washington did a poor job of expressing the concept,
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will the "New" in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico etc be removed? on: March 21, 2015, 12:50:19 pm
They aren't really that new anymore.
How about James City, Gardenia, and Rio Grande?
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Advice Regarding German Elections on: March 21, 2015, 12:45:55 pm
I'm taking a class on German history this semester and for the research paper in that course, I've naturally gone the Atlas route and have considered doing something upon the geography of German elections. Obviously considering the breadth (French Revolution to now) of the class, I have to be more specific with regards to elections. Currently I'm weighing between something focused more upon the elections of early Federal Republic (1949-1972ish) or the decline of the German liberal parties over the course of the Kaisserreich and Weimar (this may have to be narrowed somewhat more). Which would be the preferable course of action in your opinion?
You might want to ask your question in International Elections.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 21, 2015, 04:16:19 am
I gave you the end of free microchops and start of penalties for UCC underpacks, so I think have been eminently reasonable when I comes to good ideas that have demonstrable value. However on this one there is public value to disallow any districts where you can't drive from one part of the district to another without passing through other districts. The only exception I consider is when a county is disconnected internally due to water, deserts or mountains and the plan keeps the county whole. As to the public acceptance I will simply cite the Washington state statute on redistricting (RCW 44.05.090), "Areas separated by geographical boundaries or artificial barriers that prevent transportation within a district should not be deemed contiguous." That is very good public policy IMO and has been recommended at many panels I have attended as a strong tool to fight gerrymandering.
What is an example of either a geographical boundary or artificial barrier that prevents transportation within a district?

In WA it is primarily the Cascades where major highways are needed to justify a link, and Puget Sound where only ferries and bridges count as connections. In principle it can apply to any other part of geography that interrupts transportation.
The Cascades and Puget Sound are not artificial barriers.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 20, 2015, 08:46:37 pm
I gave you the end of free microchops and start of penalties for UCC underpacks, so I think have been eminently reasonable when I comes to good ideas that have demonstrable value. However on this one there is public value to disallow any districts where you can't drive from one part of the district to another without passing through other districts. The only exception I consider is when a county is disconnected internally due to water, deserts or mountains and the plan keeps the county whole. As to the public acceptance I will simply cite the Washington state statute on redistricting (RCW 44.05.090), "Areas separated by geographical boundaries or artificial barriers that prevent transportation within a district should not be deemed contiguous." That is very good public policy IMO and has been recommended at many panels I have attended as a strong tool to fight gerrymandering.
What is an example of either a geographical boundary or artificial barrier that prevents transportation within a district?
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 20, 2015, 05:50:47 am
This is the a chart of the scores with Muon2 and Jimrtex plans from 2013 added.



Blue squares are Torie's plans as evaluated by my scoring system.  They have a high level of inequality because they were not intended to be scored by my system.

Orange squares are Torie's plans with modifications made by me.

Red squares are Train's plans as evaluated by scoring system.  They also were not intended to be scored by my system.

Green squares are Train's plans as adjusted by me.

Green diamond are Jimrtex's plans from 2013.

Blue circles are Muon2's plans from 2013.

This is a chart with Torie's and Train's plans (as evaluated by my scoring system) removed, and the X-scale expanded,



The best plans are:

Muon2 2013B (3.0%, 1186 mi)
Muon2 2013C (3.3%, 1121 mi)
jimrtex 2013D (3.9%, 1035 mi)
jimrtex 2013E (4.8%, 1012 mi)
((torie 2013E))  (9.2%, 895 mil)



64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 20, 2015, 01:28:14 am
A scoring system should be able to take any submitted plan and either evaluate it with a score or scores or reject it as failing a specific rule of construction. A standard point of reference is to compare submitted plans to the one enacted into law.
Here is the current legislative plan, as I have normalized it.



The current plan puts the Detroit UCC into 7 districts, permitting it to fan out into the Thumb, Washtenaw County, and to Lansing.  The Lansing UCC is split among 3 districts, with each of the three counties in a different district.

I first identified the 6 districts that had the largest share of the Detroit UCC, which left out MI-9 which includes Ingham, Livingston, and a big chunk of Oakland.  The remaining 6 districts made up Region 8 (Detroit).  I then assigned MI-9 to Region 4 (Lansinge) because it included the largest share of the UCC.  Region 3 (Grand Rapids) was the two district that covered the UCC.

Counties that were split were assigned to the region that contained the largest share of the county populations.

Next I reassigned the counties that had been chopped out of the UCCs to the region for the UCC.  This meant assigning Eaton and Clinton to Region 4.  Placing Clinton in Region 4 cut off Shiawassee, so it was placed in Region 4 as well.  Finally Livingston was assigned to Region 8.

The topmost population figures reflect the populations of Regions 2, 4, 7, and 8 with these reassignments.

The shifts indicated in red for Clinton and Shiawassee, lime for Livingston, and brown for Eaton reflect the whole county UCC chops in the legislative plan.  The second set of population figures represent these UCC chops restored to the legislative-drawn districts.   From the legislature's perspective  these were whole counties.  From our perspective they were massive UCC chops.

I then calculated the shifts to equalize population.   I ignored the small chop in Allegan County because it was not necessary to reach our population equality standards.  I also eliminated the Montcalm and Mason splits, in place of a split of Iosco.  A reasonable argument could be made that I was making the legislative plan a bit bette and it really should have scored at 127% rather than 125%.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 18, 2015, 11:34:58 am
This is another Muon2 alternative from 2013.

66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 18, 2015, 11:15:23 am
So you are spreading the extra 0.3% in the non-compliant regions over all 10 districts. Links imply pairwise adjustments, but you use a globally determined correction. It works mathematically, but the graph isn't really needed to apply it in the way it would be if the adjustments were calculated on a pairwise basis. The only use for the graph is to determine if there are adjacent districts that are both in deficit or surplus implying that there is an extra shift to pass through population.
In this case that is true, because all non-compliant regions were placed in a single area.  The effect of doing so will be to better equalize equality among all districts.  Hopefully this will produce plans with pretty good final equality, but without as much splitting up of counties.

This is where I'm confused again. It looks like you are suggesting that that the shifts are actually what will be put in the plan. I thought the shifts were just a scoring tool for submitted plans. If they are just for scoring, then the actual shifts will be different from the calculated shifts. If the system imposes certain shifts between regions, we are back to the problem of scoring actual plans for the state that are submitted.

A scoring system has to be able to evaluate a plan for all the districts in the state. For instance it should be able to evaluate the one enacted into law. Otherwise it is a process to produce a plan, not a scoring system to evaluate plans.
The shifts are what will be placed in a Stage 1 Plan, and is what they will be evaluated on.  The actual placement of the adjustment will come in Stage 2.  The shifts identified in Stage 1 will be used as targets for Stage 2 - and can be used to choose among alternatives.

For example, your plan would set a shift of 5,822 from Region 8 (Detroit) to Region (7) Ann Arbor.  The actual transfer could come from Livingston, Oakland, or Wayne counties in to Washtenaw County.

When I scored the Torie and train plans, I removed their county fragments, but used them to identify the placement of inter-regional shifts.  The size of the inter-regional shifts was calculated on the whole-county region populations.  They will be similar to, but not identical to the size of the county fragments in the plan.

I don't see why the scoring system has to be able score the final plan enacted into law.
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Did Obama receive >25% of white vote in any Mississippi or Alabama counties? on: March 17, 2015, 07:56:26 am
Yeah, you know...the more I look at the 2008 numbers and the likely racial composition of AL in both 2008 and 2012 (based on Census figures and the average discrepancy between Census and turnout in Southern states that do keep racial turnout data), I really think there was some sort of reverse Bradley effect at play in 2008 exit polling. It just doesn't add up, the whole "Obama got 10% of the white vote in 2008".

Even the active voter rolls in 2012 in AL were >70% white; it's virtually guaranteed that the AL electorate would have been even whiter than the active rolls. Black turnout was likely 90% of the roll number, which would put it somewhere between 23-24%; non-white, non-black turnout was likely around 3%.

73.5% white
23.5% black @ 95% D = 22.3
3.0% other @ 60% D = 1.8
Total = 24.1

Obama's 2012 share = 38.4
38.4 - 24.1 = 14.3
14.3/73.5 = 19.4%

You can tweak this all around the margins, but it's certainly not going to cut Obama's share of the white vote nearly in half. In some cases, it'd actually increase it. I think I'll stick with the original version of my above map. Interesting.
It is likely that black turnout was higher in Alabama than white turnout.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 16, 2015, 10:04:42 pm
This is Muon's next plan from 2013.  It eliminates the double shift, but ends up with a greater total shift, likely because Region 2 now has a fairly large deficit.   The erosity is somewhat less.

69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 16, 2015, 09:57:15 pm
So you are spreading the extra 0.3% in the non-compliant regions over all 10 districts. Links imply pairwise adjustments, but you use a globally determined correction. It works mathematically, but the graph isn't really needed to apply it in the way it would be if the adjustments were calculated on a pairwise basis. The only use for the graph is to determine if there are adjacent districts that are both in deficit or surplus implying that there is an extra shift to pass through population.
In this case that is true, because all non-compliant regions were placed in a single area.  The effect of doing so will be to better equalize equality among all districts.  Hopefully this will produce plans with pretty good final equality, but without as much splitting up of counties.

Letting regions be closer to 0.5% deviation should provide greater flexibility.  I don't think you can really target to be just inside the limits, except in the northern districts.  But at the same time, it should produce smaller adjustments from fully county based plans.  Your scoring system may force some districts to be very close to equality, and then relatively large adjustments elsewhere.  This may result in overly constraining palns.

I 'm not sure I understand what you mean by "in the way it would be if the adjustments were calculated on a pairwise basis."   If I do understand what you are saying, I think my response is that is not necessarily a desirable alternative process.

Drawing a graph helps me understand what is happening, and I think it can help lead to better plans.  It is a useful visualization tool for me.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 16, 2015, 12:52:10 pm
This is another Muon2 map from 2013.



Region 1 (UP and Northern LP) and Region 5 (Flint) are just outside the 0.5% tolerances.

I'm not sure I follow how you get these shifts. If populations are equalized between regions with shifts, then shouldn't the Detroit are shift out slightly more than 1.8% to the other two regions (2.0%) leaving all three slightly over population?

Are the choices of shifts set by algorithm or by the plan submitter. When this was drawn I imagined that the user submitted the shifts. Now it seems that there is an algorithm applied to get the shifts.

That leads to an important question in this process. If there is an algorithm to get the shifts, then the shifts must be taken one at a time (assuming a coded binary operation). If it is an iterative minimization process then there must be a metric to measure whether a shift is used or not. Either way the order of the shifts matters.

For example, a natural choice is to start with region with the greatest deviation and the neighbor with the greatest deviation in the other direction. In this case it would be Detroit to Bay, but Bay can't accommodate all of Detroit's excess, so how much should it shift? If it shifts just what Bay needs (since its the smaller deviation), then does 0.95% go from Detroit to Ann Arbor which would equalize those populations after the first shift? At that point, does the excess from Flint go to Lansing because it has the greatest deviation in the other direction? If the process starts from the direction of the smallest disallowed deviation, then it would seem that 0.1% would shift from Grand Rapids to the UP region. In any simple algorithm based on adjacency I find it hard to get the 0.5% from Flint to jump across to UP - more likely is a 0.2% shift from Flint to Bay and a 0.4% shift from Bay to UP.

Can you describe your algorithm for shifts in discrete steps?
Step 1.  Draw a graph, with the vertices representing regions, and the edges representing connected regions.  For regions to be connected, there must be connected counties on either side of the boundary between the regions.

Step 2.  Identify regions that are close enough to a multiple of the quota such that no adjustment is necessary.   The rule is:

     deviation <= 0.5% x quota x sqrt(magnitude)

On your plan the following qualify: Region 3 (Grand Rapids), Region 4 (Lansing), and Region 6 (Kalamazoo).  Region 1 (UP/Northern LP) and Region 5 (Flint) are just barely outside the range. Note that when they are being corrected, getting them barely within tolerance will not be done. If an adjustment is necessary it will be towards full equality.  Region 8 (Detroit) is also outside of range, since the deviation of 2.2% is greater than the maximum of 1.2%.  Even though we could create 6 districts in the region that were within individual tolerance, it would represent a systematic spatial bias to have all the districts overpopulated.

While these regions need not be adjusted, they _may_ be adjusted.  Ordinarily this will have a lower score, but not always.

Step 3.  Identify areas that may be adjusted.   The deviation for an area must satisfy

     deviation <= 0.5% x quota x sqrt(magnitude)

In your plan, an area comprised of Region 1 (UP/Northern LP) and Region 3 (Grand Rapids) would not be permitted under this rule.  I had miscalculated, and this area would be OK, and might be an improvement.  Region 6 (Kalamazoo) and Region 7 (Ann Arbor) would also be OK.

In general, you want an area to consist of regions of surplus adjacent to regions with a deficit. More areas with fewer regions will generally be better.

An area of Region 2 (Mid-North LP), Region 5 (Flint), and Region 8 (Detroit) has too large of a deviation.

In my analysis, I used one area of Regions 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8.  It is likely that regions 2, 7 and 8 must be together to draw off the surplus from Detroit.   It is conceivable that two areas consisting of:

Region 1 (UP/Northern LP) and Region 3 (Grand Rapids); and
Region 2 (Mid-Northern LP), Region 5 (Flint), Region 7 (Ann Arbor), and Region 8 (Detroit);

would score slightly better.

Step 4.  Calculate the adjustments necessary to bring each area into full equality.



Column G is the population of each region; Column H is the Region number; Column I is the population of each region expressed in quotas; Column J is the number of counties; Column L is a repetition of Column I.

M12 (1.000) is the target population for the single area: =SUM(L1, L2, L5, L7, L8)/10   Note, the actual target is 1.00029.

If there were more than one area, there would be a target for each in Row 12.

Our trimmed graph has the following edges: 1,2; 2,5; 2,8; and 7,8,  It is easiest to work backwards from the exposed vertices (those that have only a single edge linking them to the rest of the area).  

In Column M we calculate the shift between Region 8 (Detroit) to Region 7 (Ann Arbor).  The difference between the target in M12 and the current value for Region 7 is 0.008 (M9).  Converted to an actual number it is 5,822 persons (M11).  M10 is not a formula, but a comment.

Column N is the shift between Region 5 (Flint) and Region 2 (Mid-Northern LP).  Since the exposed vertex has a surplus, the flow is its population minus the target.  We of course want the shifts to all be positive.

Column O is the shift between Region 2 and Region 1 (UP/Northern LP).  Note the O2 contains the cumulative adjustment from the shift into Region 2 from Region 5, and out of Region 2 into Region 1.

Region 2 is now exposed, and we can calculate the shift from Region 8 (Detroit) into Region 2.  The difference between the shift of 0.012 and (1.000 - 0.989) is due to rounding in the displayed values.

We can visualize the process as cylindrical tanks filled with a liquid with pipes between them.  The tank for Region 8 has 6 times the cross-section are as the other tanks.   The volume in each tank is the initial value in Column L.  We open the valves and measure the flow until the tanks reach an equal level that is the target.  Initially, there will be a back flow from Tank 1 into Tank 2, but this will reverse.  We are measuring net flow.

Column S is the final population per district for each region.  For Region 8 (Detroit) it is the population divided by 6; and for Region 3 (Grand Rapids) it is the population divided by 2.

S9 has the total shift =SUM(M9:P9) expressed as a percentage of the quota.   S11 has the total population shifted.  Note, the values in M11:P11 are display-rounded.   That is why the displayed values don't add up to 21,182.

The shifts are not ordered.  They will take place simultaneously.  But they can easily be calculated stepwise. 

I am of two minds about whether the shifts should be automatically or not.  It is easy to draw a graph, and typically pretty straightforward to find an efficient set of shifts.  Once you understand the process it is relatively easy to calculate the shift amounts with a spreadsheet.  And doing the analysis will probably lead to better plans.  But that is me.

When I initially scoring the plans by Train and Torie I was usually making adjustments.   But it is clear that they were optimizing for a different rule set.   They are pretty good at adapting to your rule set.

I did leave out one step, which would be to calculate the minimum shift necessary to equalize all regions to (a multiple of) the quota.  If all the regions are within the threshold of 0.5%, then we want to seek equality, as in Iowa (maybe).   In Nebraska, this might force a split of Douglas and Sarpy, with relatively limited choices as the Omaha district heads north. 
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 16, 2015, 08:00:08 am
This is another Muon2 map from 2013.



Region 1 (UP and Northern LP) and Region 5 (Flint) are just outside the 0.5% tolerances.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 50 Equal States on: March 16, 2015, 01:05:13 am
I wanted to have some fun, so I started drawing states (that can cross original state boundaries) of equal population. Since 308,745,538/50 = 6,174,911, that will be roughly the size of each state, with a maximum of a 5% range above and below.

1. Everything is based on 2010 census numbers (its just a lot easier that way)
2. Has to be based on counties, not municipalities (in all but one case, NYC which might as well be its own state
3. No county splits (with one exception, LA County because its so huge. As you can see, that and Ventura County I'm still deciding how to do the last two states)
4. I tried my best to create states that have areas of similar characteristics (though in some areas its very hard based on what I've previously drawn, like the tan one in West Texas, south NM and South AZ)
5. All states are contiguos except the one with Staten Island (which includes Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia as part of it). This is the one kind of ugly thing I just had to go with.



If you have ideas on how to better clean these up, let me know. I'm not going to modify them a huge amount but if something fits better, I'll change it (i.e. That Eastern Pennsylvania state can look better). Otherwise I'll get right down to the info.
You can follow state boundaries a lot better if you have 49-state plan.  But if you are willing to loosen the equality standards a bit:

California 6,033 (6)
Washington 1.089
OreHawAska 0.956
Arizona 1,039
UtaVada 0.885
ColoWyo 0.906
NebIdaMontAkotas 0.951

The following are paired:
IowaKan 0.955
Missouri 0.970

OklaArka 1,080

The following are paired:

Texas 4.072 (4)
Louisaexico  1.068

Minnesota 0.859
Wisconsin 0.921
Illinois 2.078 (2)
Indiana 1.050
OhMiTucky 4.172 (4)
Tennessee 1.028
GeoBamaSippi 2.823 (3)
Florida 3.045 (3)
NoCaVaWeVa 3.889 (4)
Maryland (includes DC) 1.032
Pennsylvania 2.057 (2)
Massachusetts 1.060
New Jersey (+Manhattan, Staten Island): 1.901 (2)
Long Island Sound (Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Delaware, Fairfield, New Haven): 1.029
New York: 2.065 (2, one Upstate, one New York City)
New England (minus MA, and two counties of CT): 0.990
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 15, 2015, 08:33:47 pm
You must not understand my model to suggest that I favor UCC's over other "reasonable" trades.

While you claim that your approach is balanced, you disregard the magnitude of chops.  Why, in your opinion, should county splits be disfavored?
In state after state that I see, splits of counties and munis are the things that appear in reports and in the media. It isn't the size of the split that first matters, just that there is a split.
But people vote, not cities or counties.  Isn't the fundamental harm of county chops that they crack political communities.  People are disassociated from their neighbors.   Candidates may not visit the county because there are fewer votes available.   The political base is split.

When counties must be split, shouldn't the harm to voters be minimized?

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Let me suggest a simpler model for UCC chops that doesn't entail all the complexity of your scoring.

An excessive UCC chop is when there are more districts that contain a portion of the UCC, than the minimum necessary.   The excessive chops are the county parts of the excess districts with the smallest share of the UCC population.   

For example, if the 7th district in the Detroit UCC included a portion of Livingston in the 7th district, the chop is the portion in the 7th district, even if it is the major portion, or entirety of the county.  If the 7th district included all of Livingston and a portion of the Oakland than this would be scored as two excessive UCC chops.

A county remnant is the portion of a county that remains after an excessive UCC chop.

An excessive UCC chop is a primary chop.

An excessive county chop is when there are more districts that contain a portion of a county (or county remnant) than the minimum necessary.  The excessive chops are the county parts with the smallest share of the county (or county) remnant population.

An excessive county chop is a primary chop.

Note: For a single-county UCC, the chop would be scored as an excessive UCC chop, and not a county chop.  However, for simplicity of understanding, we could only have excessive UCC chops in multi-county UCCs.

It is possible to have excessive county chops and excessive UCC chops in a UCC.  For example, imagine that an excessive UCC chop took enough of Macomb County such that the remnant of the county had a population less than the quota.  Then if the remnant were divided between two districts, the smaller portion would be an excessive county chop.

Then, in my opinion, the criterion that should be considered is the population in primary chops, and not the number of chops.   In a state like Iowa or West Virginia, the population in primary chops will be zero, at which point, population equality may be used in its place.

In terms of counting chops, I don't see how this differs from what I do, other than it starts at the minimum number of districts for a large county. It seems the same for the UCC until one gets to the point of counting the population in the chop as opposed to the chop itself. It also doesn't address the concern about fanning out from a UCC that is addressed by looking at the pack count as well as the cover count.
If you have a 7th district coming into the Detroit UCC, one or more of the other districts will be forced to fan out.  But that is only to the extent of the size of the excess chop from the 7th district.  That is why chop size matters.

If there are only 3 districts in Wayne County, it is a matter of necessity.  I don't see the point of assessing what would reasonably perceived as penalty points for doing what is necessary.
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 15, 2015, 02:22:17 am
Anyway, for scoring,  "your" map is below (as best I could draw it), avoiding subunit chops, assuming that they are penalized in the chop score (as they should be). I must admit "your" MI-04 achieves absolute perfection. Smiley


MI jimrtex 2015A

It wasn't really "my" map.  I found a map on the Internet, and was using it for example.  You've jumped ahead to the next step.  But your going back and forth about whether it is better to split Eaton or Ingham illustrates a weakness of a single comprehensive stage.  It become exceedingly complex when trying to consider where the boundary should be between Grand Rapids and Lansing, when it is somehow tied to the division of Hamtramck.   If your statewide map had been approved, then there could be a simple focused discussion on where to get 13,647 persons, where all the options might be considered.

The switch of Osceola (not Missaukee) was automatic.  When a single county on a boundary can be switched and improve the equality between the two districts, then it is shifted.  The algorithm is simple.   Determine counties in the more populous district that have less population than the difference.   Choose the one that reduces the difference the most, while not breaking contiguity.

I had noticed that the shift of Missaukee would produce a 3rd district within 0.5% bounds.  I'll submit it as a joint effort.

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This version of MI-08 might be better from a road cut standpoint. I leave that to Muon2 to figure out.

MI jimrtex 2015A2


INEQUALITY 11 (range), 9 (ave dev) (range 5977, ave dev 1257) [11/9 in Torie D]
CHOP 12 raw (UC 14, UP 16, US 17) [12/13/14/16 Torie D]
EROSITY 112 (changes 1/2:5[6], 1/4:5[5], 2/3:10[2], 2/4:5[5], 3/4:4[2], 3/5:1[0], 3/8:5[3], 4/5:4[4], 4/8:0[1], 5/8:0[1], 5/10:4[3], 5/11:4[3], 8/11:1[1], 10/11:11[10] net +13) [99 in Torie D]

Shifting the chop from Saginaw to Ingham doesn't affect the raw CHOP, but does increase the UCC cover count, though if single county UCCs are counted it's a wash. Note that Kent is now a macrochop so erosity increases there, plus the other shofts tend to hurt erosity as well.

Shifting the chop from Clinton to Eaton increases the ave dev INEQUALITY to 10 and leaves the CHOP the same. The EROSITY drops to 110.

Edit: The chop into Ingham decreases the Detroit UCC pack from 5 to 4 so the UP score goes up an additional 1 beyond the 1 for GR.
When you originally split the Lansing UCC, you went all the way to the Ingham-Eaton line.  There is clear distinction between that, and chopping 5% of the county's population.

I don't see any difference in a policy standpoint from having two districts extending outside the Detroit UCC, and just one.  Keeping whole districts within a county might make sense for the Ohio and Texas houses, where you have many house districts, per county.  And in Ohio, it was the only part of the constitution that they followed faithfully since it was an absolute standard.

The main difference between our scoring systems is that I'm focusing on trying to achieve whole county districts, and stranding the minimum number of people outside their counties.  I think we should compare to West Virginia rather than Iowa.  First and foremost, we want to have whole county districts.   If we can achieve this in multiple ways, we prefer less erose maps.  But if we can't achieve whole county districts, shouldn't we try to make the smallest adjustments, rather than try to drive down to Iowa equality standards, just because we can once we breach county boundaries?

I understand what you are suggesting and that is equivalent to saying that there is a priority among criteria. I agree that there are states that approach it that way. I am suggesting a model that balances criteria with little priority between them. The result would be a small set of balanced alternatives that would go to a commission or legislature for final selection.

For example, Torie's plans use more chops than others, but push erosity quite low. train's plans choose to preserve counties and UCCs, but tend to be more erose. I'm ok with both types of plans going forward. In your model UCC preservation becomes so strongly favored that it is hard to see if there are reasonable trades to make in other parameters that violate UCCs.
You must not understand my model to suggest that I favor UCC's over other "reasonable" trades.

While you claim that your approach is balanced, you disregard the magnitude of chops.  Why, in your opinion, should county splits be disfavored?

Let me suggest a simpler model for UCC chops that doesn't entail all the complexity of your scoring.

An excessive UCC chop is when there are more districts that contain a portion of the UCC, than the minimum necessary.   The excessive chops are the county parts of the excess districts with the smallest share of the UCC population.   

For example, if the 7th district in the Detroit UCC included a portion of Livingston in the 7th district, the chop is the portion in the 7th district, even if it is the major portion, or entirety of the county.  If the 7th district included all of Livingston and a portion of the Oakland than this would be scored as two excessive UCC chops.

A county remnant is the portion of a county that remains after an excessive UCC chop.

An excessive UCC chop is a primary chop.

An excessive county chop is when there are more districts that contain a portion of a county (or county remnant) than the minimum necessary.  The excessive chops are the county parts with the smallest share of the county (or county) remnant population.

An excessive county chop is a primary chop.

Note: For a single-county UCC, the chop would be scored as an excessive UCC chop, and not a county chop.  However, for simplicity of understanding, we could only have excessive UCC chops in multi-county UCCs.

It is possible to have excessive county chops and excessive UCC chops in a UCC.  For example, imagine that an excessive UCC chop took enough of Macomb County such that the remnant of the county had a population less than the quota.  Then if the remnant were divided between two districts, the smaller portion would be an excessive county chop.

Then, in my opinion, the criterion that should be considered is the population in primary chops, and not the number of chops.   In a state like Iowa or West Virginia, the population in primary chops will be zero, at which point, population equality may be used in its place.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Prospective electoral vote allocation for the next decade on: March 14, 2015, 06:13:37 pm
Why isn't Georgia getting another electoral vote when North Carolina and Virginia are likely to? 
Georgia has one more representative than North Carolina, with only a small difference in population.  They got a favorable rounding in 2010.  The two states are growing at about the same rate.   There is a potential for North Carolina to go ahead of Georgia.  Georgia has all of its eggs in one basket.  At some point that might make it a less desirable place to live.

Virginia hasn't added a representative for a few decades.
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