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Question: Which is the fairest map of them all?
Map 1   -1 (14.3%)
Map 2   -2 (28.6%)
Map 3   -2 (28.6%)
Map 4   -1 (14.3%)
Map 5   -0 (0%)
Map 6   -0 (0%)
Map 7   -1 (14.3%)
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Total Voters: 7

Author Topic: CA CD Wine Country Map Quest poll  (Read 4083 times)
dpmapper
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« Reply #125 on: April 30, 2012, 02:06:00 pm »
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So let me summarize the proposed rules.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD. (BTW this works against minimizing the number of counties chopped, since a tri chop counts the same as two dual shops, but that may be OK in CA).

2. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

3. Pieces of counties less than 1 CD, or pieces of places between 20K and 1 CD, shall not be split leaving less than 80% of the county or place in one piece. (I don't think we settled on a number here, so I'm guessing, but you suggested that some small communities may need a larger split.)

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.


This is probably buried back in your lengthy discussion, but I don't see any rationale for rule 3.  You're saying that if a county has 600,000 people it can't be split 450,000-150,000 but it can be split 500,000-100,000 (or 500,000-50,000-50,000)?  What is the distinction? 
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muon2
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« Reply #126 on: April 30, 2012, 02:20:06 pm »


As an aside, I'm not sure how we want to count the VRA in some areas. For instance, I don't think your Merced-Fresno district would meet standards, since there was a finding that a majority-minority district was required for Fresno, and since a 50% HCVAP district would have been possible by including part of Madera. I estimate that requires 61.5% HVAP or more.

That Fresno/Merced CD that I drew is more Hispanic than the one the Commission drew (mine is 58%; theirs is 52.8% HVAP). So that unleashed me, to try to draw a cleaner map. I wonder if there is any commentary on that issue in the Commission's written material, or in the transcripts, all of which will need to be read carefully?  Do you have any idea?  Was it because it was not deemed one community of interest?  Was it because it was impossible to get up to two 50% HCVAP CD's in the area?
[/quote]

Here's what they say in their report:
Quote
The Commissionís counsel worked with Dr. Barreto to evaluate evidence of racially
polarized voting in Fresno, Kings, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
After evaluating that evidence, counsel reported to the Commission that there was strong
evidence of racially polarized voting with respect to Latinos and non-Latinos in Fresno, Orange,
San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. In the judgment of the Commissionís
Voting Rights Act counsel, there were sufficient indicia that the Gingles preconditions had been
satisfied with respect to certain geographically compact Latino populations within those
counties, and there was sufficient evidence concerning the totality of the circumstances, that
there would likely be a Section 2 violation if majority-minority districts were not drawn. Counsel
further reported that the available evidence regarding racially polarized voting in Kings County
elections was inconclusive.

Then they go on to say what section 2 districts they created, but they don't list one for Fresno. Huh Instead they put part of Fresno with Kings and Bakersfield, call it a section 5 district and leave it at 49% LCVAP. Merced is then left with a lower 41% LCVAP, linked to Madera and another part of Fresno, and is again called section 5. I think there is a section 2 vulnerability, and it is implied in the MALDEF submittals. Two full section 2 districts could be drawn, but then the commission wouldn't get its cute Fresno-Visalia district at 30% LCVAP.
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muon2
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« Reply #127 on: April 30, 2012, 08:23:50 pm »


So let me summarize the proposed rules.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD. (BTW this works against minimizing the number of counties chopped, since a tri chop counts the same as two dual shops, but that may be OK in CA).

2. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

3. Pieces of counties less than 1 CD, or pieces of places between 20K and 1 CD, shall not be split leaving less than 80% of the county or place in one piece. (I don't think we settled on a number here, so I'm guessing, but you suggested that some small communities may need a larger split.)

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.


This is probably buried back in your lengthy discussion, but I don't see any rationale for rule 3.  You're saying that if a county has 600,000 people it can't be split 450,000-150,000 but it can be split 500,000-100,000 (or 500,000-50,000-50,000)?  What is the distinction? 

There are a couple of goals here in search of a rule. One is to encourage smaller chops rather than large chops. The other is to limit the urge to split counties and cities right down the middle. That tends to either dilute or magnify their vote depending on what fraction of a CD they make.

I hope this is the rule Torie massages. It can go a lot of ways. One is to simply say that when there is a choice of cuts, one chooses the one that keeps a bigger fraction of the split entity intact.
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« Reply #128 on: April 30, 2012, 08:43:08 pm »
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As an aside, I'm not sure how we want to count the VRA in some areas. For instance, I don't think your Merced-Fresno district would meet standards, since there was a finding that a majority-minority district was required for Fresno, and since a 50% HCVAP district would have been possible by including part of Madera. I estimate that requires 61.5% HVAP or more.

That Fresno/Merced CD that I drew is more Hispanic than the one the Commission drew (mine is 58%; theirs is 52.8% HVAP). So that unleashed me, to try to draw a cleaner map. I wonder if there is any commentary on that issue in the Commission's written material, or in the transcripts, all of which will need to be read carefully?  Do you have any idea?  Was it because it was not deemed one community of interest?  Was it because it was impossible to get up to two 50% HCVAP CD's in the area?

Here's what they say in their report:
Quote
The Commissionís counsel worked with Dr. Barreto to evaluate evidence of racially
polarized voting in Fresno, Kings, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
After evaluating that evidence, counsel reported to the Commission that there was strong
evidence of racially polarized voting with respect to Latinos and non-Latinos in Fresno, Orange,
San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. In the judgment of the Commissionís
Voting Rights Act counsel, there were sufficient indicia that the Gingles preconditions had been
satisfied with respect to certain geographically compact Latino populations within those
counties, and there was sufficient evidence concerning the totality of the circumstances, that
there would likely be a Section 2 violation if majority-minority districts were not drawn. Counsel
further reported that the available evidence regarding racially polarized voting in Kings County
elections was inconclusive.

Then they go on to say what section 2 districts they created, but they don't list one for Fresno. Huh Instead they put part of Fresno with Kings and Bakersfield, call it a section 5 district and leave it at 49% LCVAP. Merced is then left with a lower 41% LCVAP, linked to Madera and another part of Fresno, and is again called section 5. I think there is a section 2 vulnerability, and it is implied in the MALDEF submittals. Two full section 2 districts could be drawn, but then the commission wouldn't get its cute Fresno-Visalia district at 30% LCVAP.
[/quote]

Is there pending litigation, or a resolution of litigation, on the Section 2 issue? If you draw a map with two 50% HCVAP CD's in the area, could you put it up again? Thanks. It is still unclear to me, whether inter county Hispanic communities are considered a community of interest, but perhaps you have an opinion on that. The text you quote is a bit loose.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #129 on: April 30, 2012, 09:45:11 pm »
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So let me summarize the proposed rules.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD. (BTW this works against minimizing the number of counties chopped, since a tri chop counts the same as two dual shops, but that may be OK in CA).

2. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

3. Pieces of counties less than 1 CD, or pieces of places between 20K and 1 CD, shall not be split leaving less than 80% of the county or place in one piece. (I don't think we settled on a number here, so I'm guessing, but you suggested that some small communities may need a larger split.)

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.


This is probably buried back in your lengthy discussion, but I don't see any rationale for rule 3.  You're saying that if a county has 600,000 people it can't be split 450,000-150,000 but it can be split 500,000-100,000 (or 500,000-50,000-50,000)?  What is the distinction? 

There are a couple of goals here in search of a rule. One is to encourage smaller chops rather than large chops. The other is to limit the urge to split counties and cities right down the middle. That tends to either dilute or magnify their vote depending on what fraction of a CD they make.

I hope this is the rule Torie massages. It can go a lot of ways. One is to simply say that when there is a choice of cuts, one chooses the one that keeps a bigger fraction of the split entity intact.

Even if I grant that one should prefer 80-20 chops to 50-50 chops (which isn't at all obvious to me), your rule seems pretty weird to me.  The 80% cutoff is quite arbitrary - you're saying that you'd prefer a plan that splits one county 81-19 to a plan that splits a different county 78-22, even if the first plan requires all sorts of weird contortions (still keeping counties whole) and violations of CoI.  That's a ridiculous standard. 
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muon2
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« Reply #130 on: April 30, 2012, 10:00:34 pm »

Quote
As an aside, I'm not sure how we want to count the VRA in some areas. For instance, I don't think your Merced-Fresno district would meet standards, since there was a finding that a majority-minority district was required for Fresno, and since a 50% HCVAP district would have been possible by including part of Madera. I estimate that requires 61.5% HVAP or more.

That Fresno/Merced CD that I drew is more Hispanic than the one the Commission drew (mine is 58%; theirs is 52.8% HVAP). So that unleashed me, to try to draw a cleaner map. I wonder if there is any commentary on that issue in the Commission's written material, or in the transcripts, all of which will need to be read carefully?  Do you have any idea?  Was it because it was not deemed one community of interest?  Was it because it was impossible to get up to two 50% HCVAP CD's in the area?

Here's what they say in their report:
Quote
The Commissionís counsel worked with Dr. Barreto to evaluate evidence of racially
polarized voting in Fresno, Kings, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.
After evaluating that evidence, counsel reported to the Commission that there was strong
evidence of racially polarized voting with respect to Latinos and non-Latinos in Fresno, Orange,
San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. In the judgment of the Commissionís
Voting Rights Act counsel, there were sufficient indicia that the Gingles preconditions had been
satisfied with respect to certain geographically compact Latino populations within those
counties, and there was sufficient evidence concerning the totality of the circumstances, that
there would likely be a Section 2 violation if majority-minority districts were not drawn. Counsel
further reported that the available evidence regarding racially polarized voting in Kings County
elections was inconclusive.

Then they go on to say what section 2 districts they created, but they don't list one for Fresno. Huh Instead they put part of Fresno with Kings and Bakersfield, call it a section 5 district and leave it at 49% LCVAP. Merced is then left with a lower 41% LCVAP, linked to Madera and another part of Fresno, and is again called section 5. I think there is a section 2 vulnerability, and it is implied in the MALDEF submittals. Two full section 2 districts could be drawn, but then the commission wouldn't get its cute Fresno-Visalia district at 30% LCVAP.

Is there pending litigation, or a resolution of litigation, on the Section 2 issue? If you draw a map with two 50% HCVAP CD's in the area, could you put it up again? Thanks. It is still unclear to me, whether inter county Hispanic communities are considered a community of interest, but perhaps you have an opinion on that. The text you quote is a bit loose.

I can only go with what's in the report, vague as it is. In the CA suits the litigants did not challenge the CV districts, so the question did not come up. I presume the logic is that section 5 districts can include coalition and crossover voting, which is not allowed in section 2. This seems like a case where the two sections are in conflict and the commission used the easier standard presented by section 5. We'll see what happens in TX this cycle, but I have a hard time seeing SCOTUS say a weak coalition district will suffice just because it's a section 5 area when a performing district for the single minority is possible under section 2.
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« Reply #131 on: April 30, 2012, 10:06:54 pm »


So let me summarize the proposed rules.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD. (BTW this works against minimizing the number of counties chopped, since a tri chop counts the same as two dual shops, but that may be OK in CA).

2. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

3. Pieces of counties less than 1 CD, or pieces of places between 20K and 1 CD, shall not be split leaving less than 80% of the county or place in one piece. (I don't think we settled on a number here, so I'm guessing, but you suggested that some small communities may need a larger split.)

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.


This is probably buried back in your lengthy discussion, but I don't see any rationale for rule 3.  You're saying that if a county has 600,000 people it can't be split 450,000-150,000 but it can be split 500,000-100,000 (or 500,000-50,000-50,000)?  What is the distinction? 

There are a couple of goals here in search of a rule. One is to encourage smaller chops rather than large chops. The other is to limit the urge to split counties and cities right down the middle. That tends to either dilute or magnify their vote depending on what fraction of a CD they make.

I hope this is the rule Torie massages. It can go a lot of ways. One is to simply say that when there is a choice of cuts, one chooses the one that keeps a bigger fraction of the split entity intact.

Even if I grant that one should prefer 80-20 chops to 50-50 chops (which isn't at all obvious to me), your rule seems pretty weird to me.  The 80% cutoff is quite arbitrary - you're saying that you'd prefer a plan that splits one county 81-19 to a plan that splits a different county 78-22, even if the first plan requires all sorts of weird contortions (still keeping counties whole) and violations of CoI.  That's a ridiculous standard. 

Splitting a jurisdiction into two relatively even parts is used to dilute their vote if the split jurisdiction can no longer compete against the other parts of the district.

It can also be used when the jurisdiction is large enough or nearly so for its own district but by making a relatively even split the jurisdiction can effectively control two districts.

Either way it is a classic gerrymandering technique. I think it is desirable to limit it by attempting to keep most of a jurisdiction intact. I agree that the 20% number is arbitrary, but that's what we had been batting around. As I just suggested it can be modified to remove the reliance on a specific number yet still having a meaningful impact on a map.
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« Reply #132 on: April 30, 2012, 10:30:44 pm »
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Splitting a jurisdiction into two relatively even parts is used to dilute their vote if the split jurisdiction can no longer compete against the other parts of the district.

It can also be used when the jurisdiction is large enough or nearly so for its own district but by making a relatively even split the jurisdiction can effectively control two districts.

Either way it is a classic gerrymandering technique. I think it is desirable to limit it by attempting to keep most of a jurisdiction intact. I agree that the 20% number is arbitrary, but that's what we had been batting around. As I just suggested it can be modified to remove the reliance on a specific number yet still having a meaningful impact on a map.

So if a jurisdiction is small, splitting it weakens its power.  If it's large, splitting it enhances its power.  If it's medium-sized, I guess it does neither? 

In any case, my point is not that splits aren't bad (and you still haven't convinced me that a 80-20 split isn't equally bad - doesn't that sort of dilute the 80% part and really dilute the 20% part? - but never mind that), but that having a hard and fast rule regarding them is bound to have perverse consequences. 
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« Reply #133 on: April 30, 2012, 10:31:43 pm »
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Maybe maps need to be drawn both ways, given the ambiguity in the VRA law - assuming two 50% HCVAP CD's can in fact be drawn, without looking ludicrous.
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« Reply #134 on: April 30, 2012, 10:33:10 pm »
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Splitting a jurisdiction into two relatively even parts is used to dilute their vote if the split jurisdiction can no longer compete against the other parts of the district.

It can also be used when the jurisdiction is large enough or nearly so for its own district but by making a relatively even split the jurisdiction can effectively control two districts.

Either way it is a classic gerrymandering technique. I think it is desirable to limit it by attempting to keep most of a jurisdiction intact. I agree that the 20% number is arbitrary, but that's what we had been batting around. As I just suggested it can be modified to remove the reliance on a specific number yet still having a meaningful impact on a map.

So if a jurisdiction is small, splitting it weakens its power.  If it's large, splitting it enhances its power.  If it's medium-sized, I guess it does neither? 

In any case, my point is not that splits aren't bad (and you still haven't convinced me that a 80-20 split isn't equally bad - doesn't that sort of dilute the 80% part and really dilute the 20% part? - but never mind that), but that having a hard and fast rule regarding them is bound to have perverse consequences. 

Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.
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« Reply #135 on: April 30, 2012, 11:02:26 pm »

Maybe maps need to be drawn both ways, given the ambiguity in the VRA law - assuming two 50% HCVAP CD's can in fact be drawn, without looking ludicrous.

Here are the CDs I drew for the CV during our Jan '12 exercise. The Merced-Fresno CD is 62.0% HVAP which should be about 50.5% HCVAP. The Bakersfield-Kings-Tulare CD is 65.3% HVAP which is equivalent to 50.1% HCVAP for that area.


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« Reply #136 on: April 30, 2012, 11:21:47 pm »



Splitting a jurisdiction into two relatively even parts is used to dilute their vote if the split jurisdiction can no longer compete against the other parts of the district.

It can also be used when the jurisdiction is large enough or nearly so for its own district but by making a relatively even split the jurisdiction can effectively control two districts.

Either way it is a classic gerrymandering technique. I think it is desirable to limit it by attempting to keep most of a jurisdiction intact. I agree that the 20% number is arbitrary, but that's what we had been batting around. As I just suggested it can be modified to remove the reliance on a specific number yet still having a meaningful impact on a map.

So if a jurisdiction is small, splitting it weakens its power.  If it's large, splitting it enhances its power.  If it's medium-sized, I guess it does neither? 

In any case, my point is not that splits aren't bad (and you still haven't convinced me that a 80-20 split isn't equally bad - doesn't that sort of dilute the 80% part and really dilute the 20% part? - but never mind that), but that having a hard and fast rule regarding them is bound to have perverse consequences. 

Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.


The question is not whether splits are bad. Every serious neutral mapping model tries to minimize them. The first thing that the public notices is how many districts serve their jurisdiction, and those splits generally get the most public criticism. Gerrymandering is about trying to tilt the vote, and it isn't only about party, it can also be for power or to deny another power. The closer a jurisdiction is to whole, the less manipulation can take place. So that would say that a 80-20 split is preferable to a 50-50 split if everything else is equal.

Torie, are you saying that this should be the rule, or that you want to massage it first? I still fear you will not be satisfied because all good rules will create a bind in some part of the map. The question for me is whether the rule is soundly based and can be agreed to. If that makes a bad spot or two for an observer, does that obviate the rule? Can the good done by a rule elsewhere in a map overcome uncomfortable results in another?

Chop counting rules are explicit in some states and the 0.5% rule has been used in a number of competitions, such as in OH, so I don't see the need to engage in findings before agreement. I can show you the results. As I've noted, rule 3 is one I stuck in to try to complete the discussion on this point. I'm not exactly comfortable with it as is, but I didn't suggest the 20% originally. If you'd rather not have any constraint on deep chops, then you have to be willing for the commission to make them.
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« Reply #137 on: April 30, 2012, 11:44:57 pm »

My concern about a .5% chop not counting as a chop is that it will force twisted sister maps. I suppose staff could come up with the options using that escape hatch to get a minimum chop count, and the Commission could say that they all suck - in other words the Commission could veto the maps with a supra majority vote, just like is required to pass a map. Then you go back to the minimum chop rules.  That plus the supra majority, with a majority from each party, should preclude anything approaching a Michigan style gerrymander.

I still strongly reject however banning the percentage of CD that chops limitation rule.  The 20% limitation of a county rule that is chopped is sufficient, and the Commission should have the power to override that with a finding as well (e.g., it is OK to have a more than 20% chop of SLO in my signature map on the grounds or protecting the Santa Cruz metro area, with a wall on the Ventura County line, because wall placement elsewhere does lead to a SC chop or a crossing of the Tehachapi 's, or over Luther Pass).

I am pleased that counting the number of chops per county method does not bias where the chops are apparently.  Whew!  Smiley

So let me summarize the proposed rules.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD. (BTW this works against minimizing the number of counties chopped, since a tri chop counts the same as two dual shops, but that may be OK in CA).

2. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

3. Pieces of counties less than 1 CD, or pieces of places between 20K and 1 CD, shall not be split leaving less than 80% of the county or place in one piece. (I don't think we settled on a number here, so I'm guessing, but you suggested that some small communities may need a larger split.)

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.

Are we ready? Remember, I don't want to draw and then change the rules to suit a change. That's what the biased groups do, and commissions can have biases that aren't partisan. Tongue

We are getting close on the rules, but I want to massage them a bit (and of course, only one of us is a near genius, and neither geniuses), so if something comes up in practice that is unanticipated, either of us have a right to say, oh dear, wait a minute. But hopefully that will not happen.  I wonder how many maps given all the constraints would be theoretically possible (putting aside the details of how the interior of a county are chopped up).  Do you have any idea?

To get back to this question, you need only look at the wide range of maps submitted in some of the competitions. Most of them had stronger rules than what we are talking about here.

For instance, in OH there were quite a few different variations of maps to find groupings of counties that allowed one to take advantage of the 0.5% rule while minimizing chops (they used counting method 1). Those maps were also simultaneously trying to factor in compactness (also used by MI but just to resolving chops) and maximize political fairness and competitiveness, none of which have we even touched on here.
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« Reply #138 on: May 01, 2012, 01:32:52 pm »
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Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.

I don't need any experimentation to know that there will be perverse consequences. 

For instance, suppose you've got three adjacent counties with equal population.  How do you split them into two districts, while maintaining your rules?  It's impossible. 

To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D. 
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« Reply #139 on: May 01, 2012, 02:51:45 pm »


Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.

I don't need any experimentation to know that there will be perverse consequences.  

For instance, suppose you've got three adjacent counties with equal population.  How do you split them into two districts, while maintaining your rules?  It's impossible.  

To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D.  

The use of a connecting strip between whole counties is not unusual in a state with whole county preservation rules. Ohio Senatorial districts often end up with such a strip. Check out current SD 12 and 33 in OH as examples. New HD 102 in MI is another example in a state with county preservation rules.
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« Reply #140 on: May 01, 2012, 03:04:14 pm »
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Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.

I don't need any experimentation to know that there will be perverse consequences. 

For instance, suppose you've got three adjacent counties with equal population.  How do you split them into two districts, while maintaining your rules?  It's impossible. 

To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D. 

The use of a connecting strip between whole counties is not unusual in a state with whole county preservation rules. Ohio Senatorial districts often end up with such a strip. Check out current SD 12 and 33 in OH as examples.

Yes, I've seen those.  They're ugly, and if I were a mapmaker I wouldn't want to be forced into one of them for the sake of an arbitrary 80% split cutoff. 
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« Reply #141 on: May 01, 2012, 11:22:30 pm »


Thus the "finding" out for most stuff that goes beyond the Michigan rules.

I don't need any experimentation to know that there will be perverse consequences. 

For instance, suppose you've got three adjacent counties with equal population.  How do you split them into two districts, while maintaining your rules?  It's impossible. 

To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D. 

The use of a connecting strip between whole counties is not unusual in a state with whole county preservation rules. Ohio Senatorial districts often end up with such a strip. Check out current SD 12 and 33 in OH as examples.

Yes, I've seen those.  They're ugly, and if I were a mapmaker I wouldn't want to be forced into one of them for the sake of an arbitrary 80% split cutoff. 

A percent split isn't what forced those examples to happen. They arose just from the way county splits are counted. Would you like to suggest a rule that would discourage those type of districts?
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« Reply #142 on: May 02, 2012, 07:35:38 am »
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A percent split isn't what forced those examples to happen. They arose just from the way county splits are counted. Would you like to suggest a rule that would discourage those type of districts?

I'm aware of that, too.  My point was that we shouldn't want to force ourselves into making more of them.  Ohio's rules at least have the virtue of being non-arbitrary; the 80% rule that you are suggesting does not. 

In my 5-county scenario, do you honestly prefer an A/B/strip from C/E district over trying to find a natural division of C or D to make one western district and one eastern district? 

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To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D. 

As far as proposing new rules go, no, I think trying to prevent shenanigans by writing a comprehensive set of convoluted and semi-arbitrary rules will be counterproductive.  C'mon, Muon, you're a Republican - you should know all about unintended consequences of well-meaning regulation. 
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« Reply #143 on: May 02, 2012, 07:57:47 am »



A percent split isn't what forced those examples to happen. They arose just from the way county splits are counted. Would you like to suggest a rule that would discourage those type of districts?

I'm aware of that, too.  My point was that we shouldn't want to force ourselves into making more of them.  Ohio's rules at least have the virtue of being non-arbitrary; the 80% rule that you are suggesting does not. 

In my 5-county scenario, do you honestly prefer an A/B/strip from C/E district over trying to find a natural division of C or D to make one western district and one eastern district? 

By natural it appears you mean compact. Compactness is a perfectly acceptable standard, but there are many different mathematical definitions. It's been abused in many states where compactness is not specifically defined. IL lists compactness, but absent a definition it has been twisted all sorts of ways by who ever draws the map.

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Quote
To give a case where it's possible, but has ridiculous implications, consider 5 counties.  County A, with a population of 5, is farthest west, bordering only county B, population 1, just to the east.  B borders both C and D which both have population 5.  Finally county E is farthest east and borders both C and D, with population 2.  Divide this up into 2 districts following your rules - the only way you can do it is if you have one district comprised of counties A, B, and E plus a connecting strip in either C or D. 

As far as proposing new rules go, no, I think trying to prevent shenanigans by writing a comprehensive set of convoluted and semi-arbitrary rules will be counterproductive.  C'mon, Muon, you're a Republican - you should know all about unintended consequences of well-meaning regulation. 

I'm for allowing the people to have the most say in who their representatives are. I've seen states where the regulation of the mappers aids the public by encouraging more choice, and I've seen states where lack of restrictions on the mappers results in bias whether intentional or unintentional. I'll choose the path that provides the most freedom for the public, not the mappers.
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« Reply #144 on: May 03, 2012, 05:24:29 pm »

I haven't seen any other feedback, but if I take into account dpmapper's concern for the shape of some districts due to county preservation, and lack of specific justification for the 20% clause. I would offer the following revised rules. Some simple testing leads me to believe that there is some flexibility, much like the OH contest. I'm also adding a post test to block blatantly partisan maps as one gets in OH or MI on geographic rules alone.

1. A plan shall minimize county CD pieces. All pieces count towards the total, including one for the case where a county is entirely in a CD.

2. Contiguous county pieces require a connection by public road, and two whole counties in a CD shall not be connected if their only connection is through a split piece of a county.

3. When a county is split, the plan shall minimize the number of census places split within the county (ie cities). Census divisions that span a place boundary can be counted on either side of the line.

4. Pieces that are less than 0.5% of a CD shall not count in assessing rules 1 through 3.

5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.

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As an example, here is my plan for the northern inland counties. All CDs are within 100 of the ideal population. County pieces in Siskiyou (12), Glenn (3), Yuba (1), Tuolomme (6), Merced (9) are all under 0.5% of a CD (3515). That leaves a plan with three CD pieces in Alameda and Sacramento,two CD pieces in Fresno, Madera, and San Joaquin, and one in all other counties shown. The excess piece in Madera is due to my drawing of CD 11 to have an HCVAP over 50% (62.0% HVAP).

I also like that the counties including CDs 4-11 are only 28 persons short of the exact population for 8 CDs. Cool

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« Reply #145 on: May 03, 2012, 05:30:36 pm »
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I put my first salvo of thinking on this on the wrong thread. Tongue

And what does the bolded bit below mean exactly, and in particular the words "based in?"

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5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.

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« Reply #146 on: May 03, 2012, 05:55:50 pm »

I put my first salvo of thinking on this on the wrong thread. Tongue

And what does the bolded bit below mean exactly, and in particular the words "based in?"

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5. Violations of the aforementioned rules require a finding based in federal or state law approved by a supermajority of the mapping body.



For instance, a split of a community of interest is specific to CA law, so if one wants more chops it requires a supermajority. A federal example would be our difference in the Fresno area. A section 5 map doesn't need Madera, but if one want to preclude any section 2 challenge then the 50% HCVAP district needs to be drawn. That sort of decision would also seem to me to need a supermajority vote of the body.
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« Reply #147 on: May 03, 2012, 09:56:57 pm »

Here's the coastal counties. I maintained Torie's walls in the south, so the 0.5% rule wasn't applicable within this region. The region is short of 11 CDs by 4197 persons and gains population from Siskiyou and LAC each with a fragment under 0.5% of a CD.

The wine country is almost together as in my version earlier in the thread. It just loses some of Sonoma county south of Santa Rosa in exchange for all of the north coast. This should please some of the other forum "commissioners" concerned about Eureka paired with Redding. About 68K from Marin south of San Rafael is attached to SF for pop equality, otherwise SV and the central coast is not unlike Torie's map.

There is one split more than the minimum. I was unable to do better than the commission for the Monterey CD (20) without a long appendage into SJ. As drawn CD 20 has HVAP 46.3% for section 5. Staying entirely within Santa Clara county I was still able to get CD 17 to AVAP 50.7% while only splitting SJ.

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« Reply #148 on: May 03, 2012, 10:38:26 pm »
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2. Contiguous county pieces require a connection by public road, and two whole counties in a CD shall not be connected if their only connection is through a split piece of a county.


Not a bad rule... but doesn't your proposed CD-12 violate it? 
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« Reply #149 on: May 03, 2012, 11:03:50 pm »

2. Contiguous county pieces require a connection by public road, and two whole counties in a CD shall not be connected if their only connection is through a split piece of a county.


Not a bad rule... but doesn't your proposed CD-12 violate it? 

You are right. But as I mentioned many on the thread preferred a community of interest that linked the whole coast, so this commission might well accept that violation. Also, with that grouping of counties Napa will always link to other counties through a split Sonoma, or there would be a split of both Napa and Sonoma for no reason other than to preserve that rule, and for me the first rule has priority over the second. Another alternative I looked at was some other grouping, such as my initial wine country plan, but that created districts on either the east or west side of the state that were roundly rejected.

I understood the sense of the posters was to have rules that had a certain amount of flex so that there was a way out of a bad map. The way they are constructed, there are times where they will conflict with each other and the mapper can choose how to resolve the conflict.
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