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Author Topic: Dave's Redistricting App  (Read 137173 times)
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brittain33
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« on: June 07, 2009, 07:24:53 pm »
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Anyone else playing with this toy? I've redistricted Missouri with 8 districts, including a VRA-compliant district covering all of St. Louis City, and played around with the Twin Cities.

There is tremendous potential here. I hope he keeps improving it.

http://gardow.com/davebradlee/redistricting/launchapp.html
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 07:32:54 pm »
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Sounds good. Too bad not all the states are supported.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 07:40:59 pm by SayNoToRomney »Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 08:53:18 pm »
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I just played around with it trying to make a black-majority district in New Orleans. I had to go into Baton Rouge to do it, and even then it was only barely black-majority. Louisiana's next map is going to look interesting, to say the least.
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 11:20:11 pm »

I spent a couple of hours using the tool in OH where I've spent a good deal of time looking at maps during the last two months. The tool was interesting but it was cumbersome compared to real GIS software. I couldn't grab groups of blocks easily, and I couldn't find pieces that were inadvertently missed. The tool also assumes that within a county each block will change as the county does, so it really can only approximate what has happened this decade within some of the urban counties.
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 12:29:31 am »
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I spent a couple of hours using the tool in OH where I've spent a good deal of time looking at maps during the last two months. The tool was interesting but it was cumbersome compared to real GIS software. I couldn't grab groups of blocks easily, and I couldn't find pieces that were inadvertently missed. The tool also assumes that within a county each block will change as the county does, so it really can only approximate what has happened this decade within some of the urban counties.

Clicking on the "next unassigned" button will take you to any unassigned blocks.  I had to click multiple times occasionally.  Sometimes the first click would take me off the northwest corner of the map.

Although GIS is probably much more accurate, I found this Dave's App much easier to play with.  The software used for the Ohio competition was very slow IMO and it was difficult to correct mistakes.  It took me about 6 hours to make one map using the GIS software whereas it took me less than 2 hours to complete a map using Dave's App.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 01:07:35 am »
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That thing is a nightmare. That doesn't work.

Loading stop after one fitfh, so I'm not able to do anything.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 01:23:45 am by MaxQue »Logged
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 02:02:07 am »
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Thanks for sucking up my night. I spent it drawing a 50-district Minnesota.
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 02:15:21 am »
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Thanks for sucking up my night. I spent it drawing a 50-district Minnesota.

At least, that is working at your house.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 02:21:53 am »
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Thanks for sucking up my night. I spent it drawing a 50-district Minnesota.

At least, that is working at your house.

I don't have a house.
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MaxQue
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 02:27:49 am »
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Thanks for sucking up my night. I spent it drawing a 50-district Minnesota.

At least, that is working at your house.

I don't have a house.

House in the sense of a place where you live.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 02:35:18 am »
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I just played around with it trying to make a black-majority district in New Orleans. I had to go into Baton Rouge to do it, and even then it was only barely black-majority. Louisiana's next map is going to look interesting, to say the least.

On a 6 district map, I made a 66/27 African-American district that went as followed

New Orleans (most of it outside of parts of NW Orleans next to Jefferson Parish)
African-American Majority Parts of Jefferson Parish
St. Charles tracts near the river
Southern St. John the Baptist Parish (and river tracts)
St. James Parish (all of it)
Assumption Parish (all of it)
Ascension Parish (river, parts of Gonzales)
Iberville Parish (river)
West Baton Rouge
East Baton Rouge

and a 37% African-American 4th district too.

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I've redistricted Missouri with 8 districts, including a VRA-compliant district covering all of St. Louis City, and played around with the Twin Cities.

I don't think Missouri has to comply with VRA. So which district did you hack into pieces?
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 04:15:36 am »
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Here's the map of Ohio I made.  All districts are have a deviation from the ideal population of less than 1000.  I used the new estimates for population and made 16 districts since Ohio is projected to lose 2 after the next census.



Blue: A safer district for Dreihaus-D (OH-1)
Dark Green: Schmidt-R (OH-2), Jordan-R (OH-4), and Austria-R (OH-7) are pitted against each other.  Jordan would likely move to represent the red district.  Austria defeats the reviled Schmidt in the primary
Magenta: Turner-R (OH-3) gets a slightly less friendly district and could face a stiffer challenge.
Red: As I mentioned, Jordan probably moves into this open seat.
Yellow: An open seat which Latta-R (OH-5) may move in on.  This district is more Dem friendly than the current OH-5 but is probably still around R+5 or more.
Blue-Green: This is an open seat and would probably be hotly contested despite the Republican lean.  Wilson-D (OH-6) may move in here giving the Dems a semi-incumbent advantage.
Gray: Boccieri-D (OH-16) Gets a much safer district and cruises to re-election.
Purple: Boner Boehner remains safe.
Cyan: Kaptur-D (OH-9) faces off against Latta-R (OH-5) in a contest she'd almost certainly win.  As mentioned earlier, Latta will likely move to the yellow district.
Pink: I don't think I've take the elf Kucinich out of this district.  Safe Dem regardless.
Yellow-Green: Fudge-D (OH-11) is safe but the district drops below 50% black.
Lilac: Tiberi-R (OH-12) trades most of his black constituents for suburban whites and becomes considerably safer.
Peach: Sutton-D (OH-13) sees a dramatic change in her district but remains safe
Bronze: LaTourette-R (OH-14) faces off against Ryan-D (OH-17) in what will surely be the most contested race in the state.  However, the district has a distinct Democratic tilt to it which will probably put Ryan over the top.
Orange:: I think Kilroy-D (OH-15) is still in this district and it becomes much easier for her to hold.
Neon Green: This district pits Space-D (OH-18) against Wilson-D (OH-6) but Wilson may move.  This district is much more Dem friendly than Space's current district and he should have little trouble holding it even though it probably leans Rep.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 04:17:29 am »
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Here are some zooms of Columbus, Cleveland-Akron, and Cincinnati-Dayton:



The light green district in Cuyahoga County is only 48.56% black but it is still a majority-minority district if you include the 3.52% Hispanic, 2.07% Asian, and 1.28% "other."



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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2009, 08:14:44 am »
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I don't think Missouri has to comply with VRA. So which district did you hack into pieces?

I dismembered Carnahan's district as part of my goal of a Republican map.

I put all of St. Louis City and chunks of north St. Louis County in the 1st to make a 49% African-American district. Since the App doesn't have political data yet, ethnicity is the only way to carefully play with precincts. I think it's impossible to get to 50%. The district ends up fairly erose, but not ridiculous. You do get a sense of how segregated some neighborhoods are... blocks that are diverse bump up against others with fewer than 10 African-American residents.

The rest of St. Louis County and parts of St. Charles go into the 2nd district. The minority population is <5%, I think.

For Luetkemeyer, I drew a 3rd district stretching west along the Missouri River from exurban St. Charles to Columbia and Jefferson City and one country further to his hometown. I didn't split any counties other than St. Charles. It looks different from any current district, but is visually pleasing.

Jefferson and St. Genevieve were added to an 8th district that still hugs the Mississippi all the way down to the Bootheel.

The 7th district shifts east but remains a Springfield-based Ozarks district.

I put Joplin and Neosho in the 4th district, which continues to sprawl all over the west central part of the state but sheds its Jackson County portions. Ike Skelton's home of Lafayette County is in the district.

The 5th district links all of Buchanan, Platte, and Clay County with the urban parts of Jackson County.

The rest of Jackson County joins all of the farm counties of the northern part of the state, including most of the old 9th, in Sam Graves's 6th district.

Without splitting counties, I got all the districts within about 2,000 people. I could move rural precincts around the middle of the state for equality, but who would care?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 08:17:44 am by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2009, 08:26:32 am »
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Thanks for sucking up my night. I spent it drawing a 50-district Minnesota.

I drew a 6-district Oregon that might go 5-1. Originally I was trying to put Bend in a coastal district to rescue some Democratic votes, but instead I found myself putting much of Linn and Douglas County in the eastern district. I wish I'd had political data so I could see if the coastal districts were as efficiently Democratic as I thought; the Obama numbers do overstate Democratic strength, but they're what we have.

I divided Portland in three, creating a new district connecting enough of Portland to the south suburbs to make a reasonably Democratic district. The 1st and 3rd districts were able to shed precincts without too much trouble; The 3rd moves east to take up more Columbia River counties that went for Obama; the 1st extends south for some more rural areas.

The 5th includes Salem and Corvallis and then jogs west and runs all the way down the coast to California. The 4th connects Eugene and Springfield to Medford and Ashland while holding onto as little rural and small town territory between as possible. Everything else goes into the 2nd, including all of Bend and much of Linn and Douglas counties. I may have put Albany in the 2nd.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 08:29:20 am by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2009, 10:31:08 am »
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I've redistricted Missouri with 8 districts, including a VRA-compliant district covering all of St. Louis City, and played around with the Twin Cities.

I don't think Missouri has to comply with VRA. So which district did you hack into pieces?
Everybody has to comply with Section 2 Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  For example the DOJ has recently filed a complaint regarding the at-large election of members of the Euclid, OH school district (and a few years ago had filed a similar action against the city of Euclid).

If you were to split St. Louis city and St. Louis County among 3 districts extending out into the suburbs - even it produced 3 Democratic seats, they would consider what would happen in primaries (eg say Dick Gephardt vs. William Clay or their successors).

You might get by with a two-way split, as long as there was no question that one of the districts was going to be the Black district.   A similar split in Kansas City probably would not be approved since you could end up with two Republican districts.

Only certain areas are subject to Section 5, where any change in voting regulations must be pre-cleared by the DOJ (or the federal court in DC).

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The main difference is that under Section 2 the plaintiff has to prove the violation by the State (or its subdivision), whereas under Section 5, the State has to demonstrate that its changes in laws have no negative effect.

If Section 5 is overturned by the Supreme Court, I would expect that Congress would simply extend its application to the entire country, rather than trying to justify its arbitrary coverage area.
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2009, 11:00:49 am »
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You might get by with a two-way split, as long as there was no question that one of the districts was going to be the Black district.   A similar split in Kansas City probably would not be approved since you could end up with two Republican districts.

Republicans can do whatever they want to Jackson County without regard for VRA or partisanship. 5th district demographics: 68.8% White, 24.4% Black, 1.3% Asian, 5.6% Hispanic, 0.5% Native American, 0.4% other. The representative is African-American, but the constituency does not come close to any levels that would merit protection to avoid retrogression.

I don't know if you could gerrymander away the possibility of a Democratic district from the region.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 11:03:13 am by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2009, 11:02:07 am »
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If Section 5 is overturned by the Supreme Court, I would expect that Congress would simply extend its application to the entire country, rather than trying to justify its arbitrary coverage area.

I can not imagine that enough representatives would willingly impose these procedures on their local governments, given that local elected officials are among the people with best access to representatives and could all agree on opposing them.
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2009, 12:11:44 pm »
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You might get by with a two-way split, as long as there was no question that one of the districts was going to be the Black district.   A similar split in Kansas City probably would not be approved since you could end up with two Republican districts.

Republicans can do whatever they want to Jackson County without regard for VRA or partisanship. 5th district demographics: 68.8% White, 24.4% Black, 1.3% Asian, 5.6% Hispanic, 0.5% Native American, 0.4% other. The representative is African-American, but the constituency does not come close to any levels that would merit protection to avoid retrogression.

I don't know if you could gerrymander away the possibility of a Democratic district from the region.

that.. and if you put Eastern KC in a Republican district, it'd be 90/10 black, and vote 95/5 Democratic, and it'd be hard to cancel that out unless the district was south of KC.

Also, my Ohio map paired Schmidt and Boehner.
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2009, 10:28:10 pm »
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You might get by with a two-way split, as long as there was no question that one of the districts was going to be the Black district.   A similar split in Kansas City probably would not be approved since you could end up with two Republican districts.

Republicans can do whatever they want to Jackson County without regard for VRA or partisanship. 5th district demographics: 68.8% White, 24.4% Black, 1.3% Asian, 5.6% Hispanic, 0.5% Native American, 0.4% other. The representative is African-American, but the constituency does not come close to any levels that would merit protection to avoid retrogression.

I don't know if you could gerrymander away the possibility of a Democratic district from the region.
Let's say you brought a finger from MO-4 into KC.  And if not at the congressional level, there would likely be application of Section 2 for legislative or city council districts.
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« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2009, 11:07:40 pm »
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The map I got for Iowa using the type of standards they use is very bad news for Latham. He only survives if he can pull an upset against King in the primary, but that won't be easy with the district in question more similar to King's now, and the very conservative GOP primary electorate.
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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2009, 11:22:24 pm »
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If Section 5 is overturned by the Supreme Court, I would expect that Congress would simply extend its application to the entire country, rather than trying to justify its arbitrary coverage area.
I can not imagine that enough representatives would willingly impose these procedures on their local governments, given that local elected officials are among the people with best access to representatives and could all agree on opposing them.
If your alternatives are:

(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?
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2009, 08:08:47 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? 
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2009, 08:15:43 am »
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Let's say you brought a finger from MO-4 into KC.

The district is unprotected by VRA concerns. This would be similar to the incorporation/submergence of minority areas of TX-24 into suburban/affluent districts TX-26 and TX-32 in the 2004 Texas redistricting. Cleared by the Justice Department and Supreme Court, and TX-24 was a district drawn to be minority-opportunity, unlike MO-5 which has no such designation. 24.4% African-American means that the minority community in the district does not have the ability to "elect the candidate of their choice" now and could not be expected to in the future.

Granted, an Obama Justice Department would not have cleared the dismemberment of TX-24, so it's not a perfect analogy. But, again, MO-5 has a smaller minority population than Frost's TX-24 and multiple Republican-held districts today.

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.

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.) 

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  And if not at the congressional level, there would likely be application of Section 2 for legislative or city council districts.

Certainly. I'm talking only about MO-5, where the minority population share is so low so as not to raise concerns about retrogression. Subunits of MO-5 at the legislative or city council level could have majority-minority populations.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 08:19:26 am by brittain33 »Logged
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« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2009, 11:48:01 pm »
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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 or 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.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 10:09:56 am by Torie »Logged

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