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Author Topic: Dave's Redistricting App  (Read 133104 times)
CultureKing
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2009, 03:02:42 am »
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Hmm... I made a map of Washington with 10 districts but I am not exactly sure how to save from the program to my computer (yes, I do feel like an idiot if any of you are wondering).
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brittain33
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2009, 07:45:38 am »
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Brittain33 the law is a mess in this area, a total mess, and therefore the precedents (which your characterization thereof strikes me as more of less correct  but I am not sure), are more fragile than is typically the case in SCOTUS jurisprudence in my little opinion, for what it is worth.

They may be a mess, but I'm not aware of any precedent at all that extends protection to a district like MO-5. When you have a district with such a small minority population, it become a difference in kind rather than degree, and we are discussing protected populations on the scale of the number of righteous men in Sodom.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2009, 10:38:53 am »
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(1) No Section 5.
(2) Universal coverage under Section 5.
(3) Selective coverage under Section 5 based on objective standard (eg only Hawaii qualifies)

Which are you going to choose?

(1) has the advantage of being the path of least resistance because it involves no legislative action. Are there 218 legislators who are going to vote to impose Section 5 coverage on their local officials vs. 218 legislators who are willing to pretend they don't even know about this case? 
(2) Has the advantage that it requires only minimal legislative action.  I'm sure that there will be other representatives and other persons who will remind any who may not have heard of the decision.
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brittain33
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2009, 10:58:24 am »
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(2) Has the advantage that it requires only minimal legislative action.  I'm sure that there will be other representatives and other persons who will remind any who may not have heard of the decision.

You're a stubborn one. Wink

I stand by my argument that congressmen aren't going to pick fights with all of the elected officials in their districts by imposing this burden, but we can agree to disagree.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2009, 11:52:41 am »
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Hmm... I made a map of Washington with 10 districts but I am not exactly sure how to save from the program to my computer (yes, I do feel like an idiot if any of you are wondering).
In the upper left corner under File Menu, there is a Save and Save As menu.  You might need to set a File Name as well.  The plans are placed in a directory that is well-hidden.  

It is confusing when you restart.  You first select the State, and then an Open File option will appear in the File Menu, and you can retrieve your plan.  If you haven't selected a State, there will be no "Open File" option.

You can also save your maps the same way using the Save Maps buttons in the middle of the menu.  A "map" is essentially just saving the current zoom and position settings.  Be sure to set a name for maps.

If you run the map to jpg converter program, then you have to navigate down through all the directories to find the map files.  You can specify an ordinary directory for the jpg files.

The Help file (click on the upper right) is pretty complete, though brief.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2009, 04:45:05 pm »
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Let's say you brought a finger from MO-4 into KC.
The district is unprotected by VRA concerns.

,,,,

I also refer to the recent Supreme Court decision whose name I forget, covering legislative districts in North Carolina, that essentially said any district with fewer than 50% minority population is not inherently protected by VRA. MO-5 falls far short of that standard.

Bartlett v. Strickland

ALEC press release on Bartlett v. Strickland

The majority opinion explicitly says it does not apply to cases of intentional discrimination.  In North Carolina, the legislature had deliberately violated the state constitution under a mistaken belief that it was required to do so to avoid violating the VRA and the 15th Amendment.

In my scenario, the Missouri legislature not only brought a finger of CD-4 into Kansas City, they did it to fragment the black community.

Anyhow, the whole point was whether or not Section 2 applies to the entire country, and not how it might apply in individual instances.

Jim, can you cite any examples of congressional districts--or even legislative districts--with as small a minority population as MO-5 being protected by VRA against redistricting that produced a chance of Republican representation? (This is not a ridiculous or contrived situation at all, no matter how it sounds.) 
The VRA does not protect voting districts, but voters.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 05:08:52 pm »
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(2) Has the advantage that it requires only minimal legislative action.  I'm sure that there will be other representatives and other persons who will remind any who may not have heard of the decision.

You're a stubborn one. Wink

I stand by my argument that congressmen aren't going to pick fights with all of the elected officials in their districts by imposing this burden, but we can agree to disagree.
Congressmen would rather pick a fight with local elected officials who are claiming to be concerned about bureaucracy than with civil rights groups.  The Congressmen can tell the elected officials that if they don't discriminate they have no reason for concern.
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2009, 06:46:31 pm »
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Okay, so I can save and load files, but I can't convert them to jpgs, because I can't find the files. The supposed directory that contains them doesn't exist.

Edit: I've discovered Vista's "snipping tool", which seems to be much less cumbersome than trying to use that jpg converter thing.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 06:58:42 pm by JohnnyLongtorso »Logged
jimrtex
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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2009, 07:35:10 pm »
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Florida Map 25 districts based on the 2000 Census.  Maximum deviation 185, average deviation 96, standard deviation 115. 

I was trying to pretty much follow county boundaries, at least down through about Orlando.  That explains the Volusia-Lake district, and the Orange-Seminole districts.  You could arrange those districts some to make them more compact.  There might be some combinations of counties that work better along the west coast below Tampa, but I didn't spend any time looking for them.  The big lime green district in the south looks OK but really is a lot areas around the edges combined together.



Three area maps.  Note that the lilac area around Jacksonville is part of the purple district to the west.  Cities are shown in a lighter color, and most of Duval County has been merged with Jacksonville.









Some area details.  The first two are along the SE coast.  Practically nobody lives in the interior of Dade, and Broward counties.  Almost all of the population of Monroe County is on the Florida Keys.  There is a relatively small population around Belle Glade on the SE short of Lake Okeechobee in NW Palm Beach County, but the districts should largely be thought of as a stack going up the coast.  The interior areas are attached to whichever district was handy.

The population in the puce-colored district is along the coast south of Miami, with little south of Homestead, plus the population on the Keys.  It should simply be thought of the district south of the purple district.  I probably could have done a better job of following city boundaries but the application has problems with polygons with enclaves.  So you could keep all of Miami in a district.






The next map is of the Tampa-St.Petersburg area.  The gray district to the north almost exactly matched the edge of the Pasco County line, so I simply started with the St Petersburg district, and then drew the purple district to avoid splitting the main part of Tampa, so it really is more of a leftovers district.



This is the Orlando area.  Lake and Volusia together were close to a CD in population, and Orange and Seminole, so you could probably do a better job in this area if you would split Seminole County.



And finally Jacksonville.  I mainly just selected the larger block groups around western, northern and eastern edges of Duval County figuring that these were more suburban, and also to make it look like Nassau County belongs with the district to the
west.


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jimrtex
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2009, 07:46:18 pm »
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Okay, so I can save and load files, but I can't convert them to jpgs, because I can't find the files. The supposed directory that contains them doesn't exist.

Edit: I've discovered Vista's "snipping tool", which seems to be much less cumbersome than trying to use that jpg converter thing.
I am using XP, but the files were where the help file said they were.

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Silverlight\is\<junkdir1>\<junkdir2>\1\s\<junkdir3>\f\DavesRedistrictingFiles\<state>

The <junkdirs> are literally strings of letters run together.  You could probably search for drf.xml or map.xml files created in the last few days.

I scrunched my jpg files in the east-west direction by cos(latitude).  The application works in lat/long so as you go further north east west directions are stretched.  It should be very noticeable in Washington.
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muon2
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2009, 09:23:46 pm »

I encountered the same problem with polygons in Franklin County, OH where Columbus has lots of unincorporated pocket. It was so bad there that the actual boundaries of Columbus and most of its suburbs were obscured.




The population in the puce-colored district is along the coast south of Miami, with little south of Homestead, plus the population on the Keys.  It should simply be thought of the district south of the purple district.  I probably could have done a better job of following city boundaries but the application has problems with polygons with enclaves.  So you could keep all of Miami in a district.

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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2009, 06:40:32 am »
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4-district Iowa:



CD1 (blue) - 58.5 - 40.4 Obama
CD2 (green) - 58.0 - 40.8 Obama
CD3 (purple) - 55.0 - 43.6 Obama
CD4 (red) - 53.7 - 45.2 McCain

Basically, I ended up preserving two Democratic-leaning districts, a Republican district, and a Dem-leaning swing district. I have to say, Iowa is ridiculously easy to redistrict -- nice square lines, decentralized population, homogenous population. I don't know how strict their requirements are, but I got all the districts within the same population by a thousand or so except for the 3rd, which is 5,000 under. I also didn't take into account where any of the Congresspeople live -- Dave Loebsack lives in Linn County, apparently, so he'd have to move one county south to stay in CD2, and Tom Latham is in Story County, which put him in the 3rd with Boswell.
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brittain33
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2009, 08:37:21 am »
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Beautiful map! The Pembroke Pines-Hialeah district would make for some very interesting elections.
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2009, 09:40:11 pm »
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South Carolina on the current population estimates with seven districts, two of which are black-majority (purple and gray). All are within 1,000 of ideal; all but purple are within 200 of ideal (purple is about 600 oversized).



The gerrymander was even nastier before I cleaned it up as I realized I didn't need quite as rigorous a gerrymander as I had originally done to achieve two black-majority districts.
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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2009, 10:04:34 pm »
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Amusingly I tried a 4 district Nevada map splitting Reno in half and found out both districts also have to include parts of Las Vegas. West Las Vegas + southern Reno and northern Reno + North Las Vegas, that's kind of an amusing setupu.
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« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2009, 02:58:44 am »
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Amusingly I tried a 4 district Nevada map splitting Reno in half and found out both districts also have to include parts of Las Vegas. West Las Vegas + southern Reno and northern Reno + North Las Vegas, that's kind of an amusing setupu.

I was also surprised by the Nevada map.  I was expecting to fit almost 3 entire districts into Clark County with the fourth being everything else.  It'll be interesting to see how the 4 districts actually end up being drawn and if the Dems win the new district.
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« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2009, 07:48:58 am »
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Minnesota with seven districts:



CD-01 - yellow (Walz and Kline put in same district)
CD-02 - red (Paulsen)
CD-03 - green (Ellison)
CD-04 - blue (McCollum and Bachmann put in same district)
CD-05 - purple (no incumbent)
CD-06 - teal (Oberstar)
CD-07 - grey (Peterson)

I do these things without knowing where the incumbents live, so I dismantled Kline's district and accidentally put him in Walz rather than Paulsen as I intended. Also, Bachmann ends up in McCollum's district, but she'd obviously move to the safe new CD-05. I haven't figured out the Obama/McCain percentages for these districts, since districts 1 through 3 have partial counties in them. Any comments from the Minnesota crowd?
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brittain33
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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2009, 07:58:35 am »
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Minnesota with seven districts:
CD-01 - yellow (Walz and Kline put in same district)
CD-02 - red (Paulsen)

What's the population differential between the suburban Dakota parts of CD-01 and the rural counties of CD-02? What was the thinking behind stretching CD-01 up to the inner suburbs?
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muon2
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2009, 08:56:42 am »

4-district Iowa:



CD1 (blue) - 58.5 - 40.4 Obama
CD2 (green) - 58.0 - 40.8 Obama
CD3 (purple) - 55.0 - 43.6 Obama
CD4 (red) - 53.7 - 45.2 McCain

Basically, I ended up preserving two Democratic-leaning districts, a Republican district, and a Dem-leaning swing district. I have to say, Iowa is ridiculously easy to redistrict -- nice square lines, decentralized population, homogenous population. I don't know how strict their requirements are, but I got all the districts within the same population by a thousand or so except for the 3rd, which is 5,000 under. I also didn't take into account where any of the Congresspeople live -- Dave Loebsack lives in Linn County, apparently, so he'd have to move one county south to stay in CD2, and Tom Latham is in Story County, which put him in the 3rd with Boswell.

Don't worry about where IA congressmen live. IA doesn't use incumbent residences as a factor. Because IA is easy, you should try to get the districts to within about 100 people. Last time the deviations were +37, -24, +40, +40, and -94 from the ideal population, I assume that the mapmakers will try for the same goal next time.
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CultureKing
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« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2009, 06:10:43 pm »
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Here is Washington with 10 districts. I am not completely sure what the political leans would be for each district. Though I think it would probably turn into 7 dems and 3 reps (or perhaps a 6-4 scenario).
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« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2009, 09:29:29 pm »
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Minnesota with seven districts:



CD-01 - yellow (Walz and Kline put in same district)
CD-02 - red (Paulsen)
CD-03 - green (Ellison)
CD-04 - blue (McCollum and Bachmann put in same district)
CD-05 - purple (no incumbent)
CD-06 - teal (Oberstar)
CD-07 - grey (Peterson)

I do these things without knowing where the incumbents live, so I dismantled Kline's district and accidentally put him in Walz rather than Paulsen as I intended. Also, Bachmann ends up in McCollum's district, but she'd obviously move to the safe new CD-05. I haven't figured out the Obama/McCain percentages for these districts, since districts 1 through 3 have partial counties in them. Any comments from the Minnesota crowd?

Actually, that doesn't put Kline and Walz in the same district, it put Walz's home and my former home of Mankato into MN-7. Kline would be the only incumbent in the new MN-01, but he would likely lose. Adding Mankato back into the district and ditching the Dakota county suburbia would be more logical, and would likely result in a less ugly MN-02. Kline's home is also very close to the border, so he could easily be put in MN-02, resulting in an open MN-01 seat, which probably leans Dem. Walz could move to Albert Lea or Rochester I suppose, but Mankato/North Mankato is his super-solid base. I also don't see the reasoning in keeping Carver County out of MN-02 either. No one in Minnesota would like that map, the legislature would never pass it.

Not much reshuffling is needed though, Blue Earth and Nicollet and the connecting counties back to MN-01, Carver into MN-02, some of the northern parts of that purple district to MN-06, the cede some of the western parts to MN-7, clean up the southern rural part of MN-02 a bit as well which would result in some ceding to MN-07 and splitting up the Dakota county suburbs between MN-02 and MN-04, and you have a map that would look nicer, and would likely elect the same incumbents, and make them happier. I should try a map except I'm not sure how to post them, maybe I'll just upload the XML file and let someone else do it.
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« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2009, 11:03:26 pm »
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Here's a redo of Indiana.  I'm not really sure why their districts were so funky looking in the first place.



Indianapolis close-up:

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« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2009, 11:27:50 pm »
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Here's a redo of Indiana.  I'm not really sure why their districts were so funky looking in the first place.

Because it was basically a Democratic gerrymander.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2009, 02:47:20 am »
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Don't worry about where IA congressmen live. IA doesn't use incumbent residences as a factor. Because IA is easy, you should try to get the districts to within about 100 people. Last time the deviations were +37, -24, +40, +40, and -94 from the ideal population, I assume that the mapmakers will try for the same goal next time.


The legislature actually rejected the first plan because its deviation was too large (I think around 150).  I always figured they just didn't like what the computer drew, but had to have a rationale for rejecting the map.
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« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2009, 02:56:34 am »
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I have recent census tract estimates from the state government that would be much more accurate than their method of applying Census estimates. Their estimates method might work in some states, but my county alone has almost 2 million people and some parts have grown way faster than others, so it's not very helpful. I wish there were a way I could use the state tract estimates instead... Sad
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