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Lewis Trondheim
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« on: February 05, 2011, 03:14:04 pm »

of states whose State Senate Districts are composed entirely of whole State House Districts?

Many thanks in advance!
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jimrtex
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 10:13:40 pm »

of states whose State Senate Districts are composed entirely of whole State House Districts?

Many thanks in advance!
2010 State Profile Summary

Note the Minnesota legislative website typically has pretty comprehensive information on redistricting across the country.

NV, FL, TN, IN, RI, MA, and VT have small integer ratios of seats, but apparently don't have nesting requirements.

HI has a non-integer ratio 51:25, but not only the above table, but the following criteria from Hawaii claims it is true.

2001 REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION STANDARDS AND CRITERIA

Hawaii at one time tried to create districts where legislators had unequal voting strength, in order to conform to OMOV, while avoiding inter-island districts, but were blocked by a federal district court.  The above might be residual.

Washington's constitution simply provides that house districts not cross senate district boundaries, and at one time you could have different number of house districts per senate district.  The size of the legislature in Washington is not specifically prescribed in the constitution, and a 3:1 ratio is legally possible, while complying with OMOV.   It is simply current practice to not have single member house districts.  There is a bill that would change that.

I think Arizona and North Dakota are similar.   Notice that SD only has 4 single member house districts.  Without even looking at a map, I bet reservations are involved.

While one of the criteria in California is that senate and house districts nest, this is not an absolute requirement.  I think the following might be a case where it might not be followed.

City A: 104% of assembly district, so legal (within 5% limit)

Cities B and C: 90% of assembly district, so too small for an assembly district.

City D: 201% of assembly districts, so can form 2 assembly districts.

Together A, B, and C have 97% of the ideal senate district population, and D has 100.5% of the population of a senate district.

So:
AD 1: City A (104%)
AD 2: Cities B and C, and Sliver (3.5%) of D: (97%)
AD 3: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)
AD 4: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)

SD 1: Cities A,B, and C  (97%)
SD 2: City D (100.5%)
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 10:38:13 pm »

Here's what I know/managed to find out after some quick research:

Arizona, Idaho, New Jersey, North Dakota, Washington don't even have House districts, they elect two Representatives from each Senate district. Idaho and Washington have two separate tickets, while Arizona, New Jersey and North Dakota just elect the top two. South Dakota's is like North Dakota's, except they have two districts out of 35 that are subdivided into two House districts.

Maryland's House districts are based on the Senate districts; you've either got three Reps elected from the Senate district or some combination of one and/or two-member districts. System is the same as Arizona/New Jersey/North Dakota, top 1/2/3 candidates win the seats.

Iowa and Oregon have their House districts nested inside the Senate districts. Two House districts for each Senate district. Wisconsin's are also nested, three Assembly districts for each Senate district.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 11:14:09 pm »

of states whose State Senate Districts are composed entirely of whole State House Districts?

Many thanks in advance!
2010 State Profile Summary

Note the Minnesota legislative website typically has pretty comprehensive information on redistricting across the country.

NV, FL, TN, IN, RI, MA, and VT have small integer ratios of seats, but apparently don't have nesting requirements.

HI has a non-integer ratio 51:25, but not only the above table, but the following criteria from Hawaii claims it is true.

2001 REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION STANDARDS AND CRITERIA

Hawaii at one time tried to create districts where legislators had unequal voting strength, in order to conform to OMOV, while avoiding inter-island districts, but were blocked by a federal district court.  The above might be residual.

Washington's constitution simply provides that house districts not cross senate district boundaries, and at one time you could have different number of house districts per senate district.  The size of the legislature in Washington is not specifically prescribed in the constitution, and a 3:1 ratio is legally possible, while complying with OMOV.   It is simply current practice to not have single member house districts.  There is a bill that would change that.

I think Arizona and North Dakota are similar.   Notice that SD only has 4 single member house districts.  Without even looking at a map, I bet reservations are involved.

While one of the criteria in California is that senate and house districts nest, this is not an absolute requirement.  I think the following might be a case where it might not be followed.

City A: 104% of assembly district, so legal (within 5% limit)

Cities B and C: 90% of assembly district, so too small for an assembly district.

City D: 201% of assembly districts, so can form 2 assembly districts.

Together A, B, and C have 97% of the ideal senate district population, and D has 100.5% of the population of a senate district.

So:
AD 1: City A (104%)
AD 2: Cities B and C, and Sliver (3.5%) of D: (97%)
AD 3: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)
AD 4: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)

SD 1: Cities A,B, and C  (97%)
SD 2: City D (100.5%)


I'm pretty sure that  Ohio senate districts are comprised of 3 house districts rather than subdivided into 3 senate districts.
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cinyc
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 01:17:45 am »
« Edited: February 06, 2011, 01:20:16 am by cinyc »

I'm pretty sure that Alaska has 2 state house districts wholly within the boundaries of each state senate district.  IIRC, there are 40 numbered house districts and 20 lettered senate districts.  House Districts 1 and 2 are in Senate District A, HDs 3 and 4 in SD B, etc.

Alaskan State Senate elections are every 4 years, House elections every 2 years in even-numbered years.
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giving birth to thunder
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 01:29:36 am »

Iowa and Oregon have their House districts nested inside the Senate districts. Two House districts for each Senate district.

We do that too.
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 02:56:42 am »

Thanks Jim, that's the list I need.

Yeah, SD's single member districts were created by a court in 2003 or '4. They also redrew some Senate districts, thus increasing the number of Native Opportunity seats from 1 & 2 (the Pine Ridge based constituency) to 2 & 4 (two of the four new single member districts, one entirely within Standing Rock/Cheyenne River, the other based on Rosebud; and the Senate district based on Standing Rock and Cheyenne River. IIRC.)

One special case is Wyoming - and perhaps elsewhere as well; that's one detail I might want to doublecheck for all other nesting states - though all Senate districts are composed of two House districts, the numbering schemes bear no relation and you need to know which House districts make which Senate district.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 03:46:03 am »
« Edited: February 06, 2011, 09:32:07 am by hard-core punk is also folk music »

Meh. Seems to be a lot of states where nesting is an option / the ideal rather than required, and they're listed as "yes" in that document.
Alabama has some Senate districts that perfectly include three House districts, but a lot of them don't, with no rhyme or reason apparent.
In Hawai'i, they seem to have been allocating seat numbers in both chambers to counties, and the result was 7/3 to Hawaii (no nesting), 6/3 to Maui (nesting), 3/1 to Kauai (nesting. Of a sort. It's in flat contradiction to the "16% at very extreme maximum" language in the document you linked to, btw. That Senate district is 20% oversized, the House districts are 18% undersized on average.) and 35/18 to Oahu (no nesting).
Maryland is also weird - there's three house members for every Senator, but some Senate seats function as a three-member seat for the House, while others are subdivided either into three single-member seats or a single and a double. In a couple of cases this is done to create additional minority-majority House seats, but elsewhere it's just because the Senate district includes disparate areas and splits reasonably well. Most of the large rural Senate districts are subdivided. At least the numbering scheme flags these districts at first glance.
Ohio is of the Wyoming school.
South Dakota - basically as I remembered, except for the descriptions of what rezzes go into what. Undecided It should read
They also redrew three Senate districts, thus increasing the number of Native Opportunity seats from 1 & 2 (a Pine Ridge & Rosebud constituency packed with Dakotas) to 1 & 4 (two of the four new single member districts, one entirely within Standing Rock/Cheyenne River, the other based on Rosebud; and the redrawn, now less packed Senate district based on Pine Ridge.)
And Wyoming. And that's the full list of oddities.
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 02:11:32 pm »
« Edited: February 06, 2011, 02:13:12 pm by Kevinstat »

Iowa and Oregon have their House districts nested inside the Senate districts. Two House districts for each Senate district.

We do that too.

Minnesota and Maryland (for its house districts that don't take up an entire Senate district, because they only elect one or two Represenatives) use the number of the Senate district and a letter (A or B in Minnesota; A, B or (for Senate districts split into three single-member House districts) C for Maryland) in the "title" of House districts.  I'm not aware of any other states with nested districts that do that.  Having the House districts being numbered such that dividing that number by the House:Senate ratio and rounding up to the nearest integer if the quotient isn't an integer yields the number of the Senate District it is in seems common for states with nested districts, with Wyoming being an obvious exception.  Not sure if there are any others.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 02:26:22 pm »

Wyoming being an obvious exception.  Not sure if there are any others.
Ohio.
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Kevinstat
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 02:29:37 pm »

While one of the criteria in California is that senate and house districts nest, this is not an absolute requirement.  I think the following might be a case where it might not be followed.

City A: 104% of assembly district, so legal (within 5% limit)

Cities B and C: 90% of assembly district, so too small for an assembly district.

City D: 201% of assembly districts, so can form 2 assembly districts.

Together A, B, and C have 97% of the ideal senate district population, and D has 100.5% of the population of a senate district.

So:
AD 1: City A (104%)
AD 2: Cities B and C, and Sliver (3.5%) of D: (97%)
AD 3: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)
AD 4: Part (48.3%) of D: (97%)

SD 1: Cities A,B, and C  (97%)
SD 2: City D (100.5%)


I think California's non-nesting right now is a lot more widespread than that, and the main justification for it is that nesting limits the ability to maximize the number of minority-majority districts (particularly Hispanic-majority districts) for both the State Senate and the State Assembly.  Like you can draw a Latino Assembly district in Imperial and western San Diego counties and another Latino Assembly district in Orange County, but any of the Assembly districts the one in Imperial County at least borders would, if combined with that district to form a Senate district, form a Senate district that was majority White non-Hispanic.  See the Berkeley report "The Implications of Nesting in California Redistricting" (PDF).  From page 2 of that report, nesting did not seem to be a requirement in 2000 at all, but it may be now (barring federal court Voting Rights Act-based intervention, which would if anything only nullify any nesting requirement where necessary to achieve VRA goals) with the redistricting initiatives that have been passed.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 02:59:18 pm »

Yes, Kevin, nesting was not a requirement in 2000 at all, but it may be now with the redistricting initiatives that have been passed - though with VRA strings attached in the text of the initiative itself.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 10:34:32 am »

Here are the constitutional requirements:

Washington 63-99 representatives, 1/3 to 1/2 that many senators.  The original legislature had 70 and 35.  No house district may be divided between senate districts.

Because of OMOV and the nesting requirement, the two choices of ratio are 1/3 and 1/2 exactly.   Currently they are at the maximum of 98 and 49.  Washington has in the very recent past had some separate house districts, within a senate district (for example a senate district that stretched from Grays Harbor to Cowlitz had a coastal house district, and a river house district. 

There is currently a bill that would make all house districts separate.  It will go nowhere.  The House members in the hearing were calculating that they might end up in the same district as their fellow representative (in one Seattle case, the boundary would have had to run on an alley).

Oregon Original constitution provided ratio of 16:34 and maintenance of that ratio as near as may be up to a maximum of 30:60 (the current number).  IIUC, the original constitution provided for independent apportionment of the two houses, and did not permit splitting of counties, but did permit combining whole counties.

A 1953 amendment appears to have permitted splitting counties into subdistricts.  It may have been at-large election before then.  This is still part of the constitution Article IV Section 7, but doesn't appear to be followed - with respect to county boundaries.

The current constitution simply requires that each senate district be divided into two house districts.

California The constitution provides 40 senate districts and 80 assembly districts.  Criteria for redistricting says that:

"To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, each Senate district shall be comprised of two whole, complete, and adjacent Assembly districts"

The superior criteria include reasonable population equality, respect for county and city boundaries, and VRA.

Hawaii Constitution provides for 25 senators and 51 representatives apportioned among the 4 island groups: (1) the island of Hawaii, (2) the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe, (3) the island of Oahu and all other islands not specifically enumerated, and (4) the islands of Kauai and Niihau.  Apportionment is by equal proportions (Huntington-Hill), with each island group guaranteed one member in each body. 

I suspect that this may be a special case where districts can go outside a 5% deviation.  Conceivably, other states might have special cases that would warrant similar treatment, but they are likely to applied using ad hoc rules, which might cause a court to overturn them.

The constitution further provides that each island group be allocated additional members so as to have 2 senators and 3 representatives.  These members would have fractional voting rights.  This was the provision that was overturned by a federal district court.

The constitution then provides for districting within each island group.  It says: "where practicable, representative districts shall be wholly included within senatorial districts", and  not more than four members shall be elected from any district."

Current apportionment is:

Hawaii 3:7
Maui, etc. 3:6
Kauai, etc. 1:3
Oahu: 18:35

Current nesting is only on Maui and Kauai.  Conceivably, Hawaii could form a 3-member senate district with 7 nested representative districts, but there is also the following provision: "where practicable, submergence of an area in a larger district wherein substantially different socio-economic interests predominate shall be avoided."

It is a curiosity, that though the overall ratio is 1:2.04, it ends up with two areas over the ratio considerably, and  one area under.  As it turns out this is a rather extreme case of quota violation:

Hawaii    148,676   6.259   3.068
Honolulu  876,158  36.882  18.079
Maui+     128,241   5.398   2.646
Kauai     58,463    2.461   1.206


But I did a little more exploration.  Hawaii does not use the census population for legislative districting.  It instead uses the "permanent resident" population.  But the census bureau does not provide data for permanent residents.  In 2001, the Hawaii redistricting commission excluded non-resident students (based on information from the universities), and non-resident military (based on information from the DOD.  They decided not to exclude dependents of non-resident military, in part because of lack of data.  In addition, they decided not to include aliens, because of lack of data from the INS.

This resulted in the following (notice almost all of the excluded population is on Oahu.  There were repeated appeals from folks on the neighbor islands to exclude more people.

Hawaii    147,877   6.477   3.175
Honolulu  830,176  36.359  17.823
Maui+     128,029   5.607   2.749
Kauai      58,386   2.557   1.253


An interesting tidbit was that one proposal for the congressional redistricting was a so-called North/South plan that would put Kauai and the northern part of Oahu in one district, and the southern part of Oahu with the other islands.  The east/west boundary line would have split windward (northeastern shore) of Oahu.  For congressional districting they do use the census population.

During most of the discussion the commission was convinced that they were going to have to draw "canoe" districts which would link island groups.  A court decision after the 1980 redistricting had seemed to indicate the use of such districts was required, but there had also been the use of registered voters for legislative apportionment at that time. 

The original plan would have drawn canoe districts between Kauai and Oahu; and Hawaii and Maui in both houses, though there was one proposal for a Kauai-Maui canoe district for the senate, where the Honolulu and Hawaii districts would be close enough. 

There were also arguments made that the apportionment between the houses could be made in a way that compensated each other.  For example, Kauai could be given an extra 1/2 house seat, to compensate by being short 1/4 a senate seat.

Eventually, they got an opinion from the attorney general on the issue of excluding military dependents, which said "it depends".  In favor was the past practice of the redistricting commission and also voter understanding of the constitutional amendment that based apportionment on "permanent resident".  Against were Supreme Court decisions favoring more inclusive population bases, and also the difficulty of determining the location of military dependents (whether they even live in Hawaii or where they lived within Hawaii).

The DOD has good information on where military person are stationed, as well as which state they regard as their residence for tax purposes (ie Washington, Texas, Florida or other states without personal income taxes).  They have somewhat less reliable information with regard to residence of dependents because that sometimes lags based on when they needed medical treatment, etc.  And there is some uncertainty whether dependents live with their military sponsor.  Also, any residential information is based on ZIP code only, so there has to be an assignment to blocks used for redistricting on a statistical basis.

On a 5-4 party line vote, except for the chairman casting a tie-breaking vote, the commission reversed its earlier decision to not exclude military dependents.  This resulted in the final apportionment population:

Hawaii    147,806   6.705   3.287
Honolulu  790,233  35.845  17.571
Maui+     128,003   5.806   2.846
Kauai      58,288   2.644   1.296


Honolulu ended up with 10% of its census population excluded, while the other island groups lost a few tenths of 1%.

Under Huntington-Hill, Honolulu would be apportioned 35 house members.  So it turns out that while 17.571 results in 18 senators, 35.845 results in 35 house members.  Incidentally, the same apportionment would result under Deans (harmonic mean divisors) and Websters (arithmetic mean divisors) as under Huntington-Hill (geometric divisors).

Honolulu received only 3 of the 6 last representatives, but would have received all of the next 5.  That is Hawaii would have had 32 of 45; 35 of 51; and 40 of 56.  Its share of the apportionment population was 70.3%.  It received 68.8% of 51 members.  It would have had 71.1% of 45 members, and 71.4% of 56 members.  It turns out for this particular population, 51 members is about the worst possible number to apportion.

Under the census population, there would be a quota violation at 54 members.  Under the original plan to exclude non-resident military and students, there would a quota violation at 52 members.

After they had decided on which population to use for apportionment and redistricting, they decided to use Huntington-Hill after all, just like the constitution requires.  But they then tried to hide the fact of deviation in population in districts relative to state ideal population, by measuring it independently for each island group.  (eg Kauai's senate district is 29.6% over the ideal, but has no deviation at all from the Kauai-average, and its house districts are 11.9% under-populated.

So technically they followed the state constitution, and they might be able to establish a rational basis for such a large deviation, but since it was contrary to what had been done in 1980s and 1990s, it gives the appearance of an ad hoc political decision.
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 08:30:22 pm »
« Edited: February 08, 2011, 03:04:26 pm by jimrtex »

Alaska The constitution requires that the 20 senate districts be comprised of two house districts.  It is not an absolute requirement that the senate districts be contiguous (only to the extent practicable).  SD A is barely contiguous, and it possible that HD 2 was drawn so as to provide contiguity with HD 1.  There are some other senate districts that are simply attached to each other (C and H for example).

The original Alaska constitution had vested redistricting authority in the governor, and had not based the senate entirely on population.  After the OMOV decisions, the governor simply started redistricting the senate based on population.  During this time, Alaska had multi-member house districts.  It was somewhat of an accident that the number of senators and representatives were in a 1:2 ratio.  The Alaska Constitution also provided for apportionment based on the civilian population, but after it found this impossible to do, simply started using the census population.

In 1992, voters created a redistricting board, and also codified actual practice by switching to the census population.  It also formalized the requirement that senate districts be comprised of two house districts.  It said that to the extent practicable, senate districts should be contiguous..  After the first redistricting under the new constitutional amendment, the Alaska Supreme Court overturned some districts that were within the 10% limit for state legislative districts that is believed to be acceptable to the SCOTUS, saying that with modern mapping technology and census data, more equal district populations are possible to be practiced.

It is conceivable that the SCOTUS could at some time make a similar ruling, which would force the states to come up with some rational basis for any deviation.

In November 2010, voters rejected (by about a 40:60 margin) a proposed amendment that would have increased the legislature to 44 and 22 members.

Arizona Requires that 2 house members and 1 senator be elected from each legislative district.  Unlike Washington which provides for separate districts that happen to be coincident, Arizona only has provisions for "legislative districts".  I could not find anything that requires the two representatives to be elected in a multimember district where each voter casts two votes, as opposed to by position as is done in Washington.  All legislators in Arizona serve 2 year terms.  So in each legislative district, voters cast one vote for the senator position and two votes for the representative position.

I couldn't really find much about conducting multimember elections in statute.  I suspect it is one of those things where Arizona "knows" how to do it, and they've "always done it that way".  Arizona is covered by the VRA, so it is possible that their use of multimember districts could be challenged.

In 2010, only two house districts had split results.  It appears to be a tactic of the lesser party in a district to only run one candidate, hoping that some voters who want to be bipartisan will split their votes.  Since there is only one nominee of that party, voters would be forced to vote for that candidate if they split their vote.  It also looks like some voters don't use both votes in the representative race (there are rarely 2X as many votes cast in the house race vs. the senate race).  Some voters apparently don't realize that they can cast two votes, or figure that they are splitting their support, or perhaps think they are only voting for the best candidate in their mind, and thinking that will somehow make their vote more influential.

If a senate race is 55:45, you might start off with a 55:55:45:45, but with dropoff votes you might have 52:48:42:38 (assuming that those who only vote for one candidate of their party make a decision as to which on something other than flipping a coin.  The above assumes a 30:70 split).  If you have some cross-over votes, you have to depend on them being predominately from the weak candidate of the dominant party to the stronger candidate of the lesser party, to get a split result.  And there may also be some of your own party supporters who cross over the other way.

But if you only run one candidate, you will start out with a 55:55:45 split, but won't suffer any single vote drop off, which gets you to 52:48:45.  Any cross-over voters will be forced to choose your single candidate, and you can also semi-actively support the stronger candidate of of the major party.


It appears that the tactic was successful in electing one Democratic representative.  In the other split district, it was a single Republican running against two Democrats, but the Republican senator won as well.  It was a somewhat low turnout district, so it may have been the case of a Republican pickup based on low Democratic turnout.  The tactic may have been correct for 2008.  But in 2010, it cost the Republicans a possible sweep.

Hawaii addenda.  Hawaii staggers the election of its senators, but all senators run in the election after redistricting.  So half of the districts have terms of 4, 4, and 2 years; while the other have have terms of 2, 4, and 4 years.   The districts that have terms of 4, 4, and 2 are chosen based on which new districts have the largest share of their population who voted in the previous two elections.

So if your old district had an election for a final 2-year term in 2010, and your new district will likely be electing for a 4-year term in 2012.

Texas uses the same stagger system for its senators, but the determination of which districts are 4:4:2 amd which are 2:2:4 is not determined until the senate meets, and the newly elected senators draw lots to determine who was elected to a 4-year term, and which were elected to a 2-year term.
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memphis
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 08:57:28 pm »

Yeah, we have 99 House seats and 33 Senate seats, but the lines are totally independent. I managed to get gerrymandered into safe D urban House seat but a safe R suburban senate seat. Go figure.
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 09:00:54 pm »

PA House Districts 71, 73, 76 are in the 35 Senate District

PA House Districts 171 and 82 are in the 34th Senate District.

PA House Districts 83, 84 and possibly 110 are in the 23 Senate District.

I'm sure there are more.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 09:40:50 pm »

PA House Districts 71, 73, 76 are in the 35 Senate District

PA House Districts 171 and 82 are in the 34th Senate District.

PA House Districts 83, 84 and possibly 110 are in the 23 Senate District.

I'm sure there are more.

I don't think that's what HCPIAFM (Lewis Trondheim) had in mind (I'm assuming that there are some House districts partly (but not entirely) in each of those three Senate Districts; Pennsylvania could have some 4:1 nested "pairs" of House and Senate districts as Pennsylvania has 50 Senators and 203 Representatives, and 100.74% of 4/203 is approximately equal to 99.26% of 1/50).  At the risk of sounding rude, having some (or even a decent percentage in states with a high House district:Senate district ratio) House districts entirely within one Senate district is not really notable.  It's to be expected, perhaps, in corners of a state, particularly the pointier ones (eg. the two West Virginia panhandles, the Oklahoma panhandle and eastern Tennessee).  I imagine every Senate district in Maine has at least one House district entirely within each Senate district (of course, Maine's House:Senate member (and district) ratio is 4.31:1, like Pennslyvania's ratio higher than the national average so it would be more unnatural not to have a House district entirely within each Senate district than in most other states).  What's more notable is if all (or even most) Senate districts are made up entirely of whole House districts, not just containing one or more House districts which would be smaller (if both types of districts are single-member districts) after all.
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2011, 12:13:35 am »

Alaska The constitution requires that the 20 senate districts be comprised of two house districts.  It is not an absolute requirement that the senate districts be contiguous (only to the extent practicable).  SD A is barely contiguous, and it possible that HD 2 was drawn so as to provide contiguity with HD 1.  There are some other senate districts that are simply attached to each other (C and H for example).

The original Alaska constitution had vested redistricting authority in the governor, and had not based the senate entirely on population.  After the OMOV decisions, the governor simply started redistricting the senate based on population.  During this time, Alaska had multi-member house districts.  It was somewhat of an accident that the number of senators and representatives were in a 1:2 ratio.  The Alaska Constitution also provided for apportionment based on the civilian population, but after it found this impossible to do, simply started using the census population.

In 1992, voters created a redistricting board, and also codified actual practice by switching to the census population.  It also formalized the requirement that senate districts be comprised of two house districts.  It said that to the extent practicable, districts should have equal population.  After the first redistricting under the new constitutional amendment, the Alaska Supreme Court overturned some districts that were within the 10% limit for state legislative districts that is believed to be acceptable to the SCOTUS, saying that with modern mapping technology and census data, more equal district populations are possible to be practiced.

It is conceivable that the SCOTUS could at some time make a similar ruling, which would force the states to come up with some rational basis for any deviation.

In November 2010, voters rejected (by about a 40:60 margin) a proposed amendment that would have increased the legislature to 44 and 22 members.

HD1 and HD2 were drawn the way they were to put the "larger" Southeast Alaskan towns other than Juneau into the same Senate District, and put the more rural Southeast Alaskan villages in HD5, which then ends up in the same Senate District C as the very geographically large, very rural HD6 in interior Alaska.  Basically, it's an attempt to put communities of similar interest together in Senate Districts.

HD1 is basically Ketchikan, HD2 Sitka, Wrangell and Petersburg - the largest towns of Southeast Alaska not named Juneau.  Both are in SD A.  HD3 is urban Juneau; HD4 is suburban Juneau.  They make up in SD B.  It's the state capital and a government town.  HD5 is the really rural areas of Southeast Alaska, from Haines to Craig to Hyder. And HD 6 is bush interior Alaska - many areas of which are either on far-flung areas of the road network or entirely off of it.  They have more in common for a senate district than Ketchikan, Skagway or Juneau.

There are rational reasons for putting these areas together, especially in the Southeast.  Most Southeast towns are not connected by roads, and putting part of Petersburg in a district with Juneau just to balance population wouldn't make much sense.  You need a plane or ferry to get there from there.  Someone from Juneau probably wouldn't adequately represent Petersburg and vice versa.

A similar arguments can be made in Hawaii - that putting urban or even suburban Honolulu in a district with more rural Kauai just to balance population doesn't make much sense since you can't drive from Oahu to Kauai and their interests aren't even close to the same.
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J. J.
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2011, 03:38:27 am »

PA House Districts 71, 73, 76 are in the 35 Senate District

PA House Districts 171 and 82 are in the 34th Senate District.

PA House Districts 83, 84 and possibly 110 are in the 23 Senate District.

I'm sure there are more.

I don't think that's what HCPIAFM (Lewis Trondheim) had in mind (I'm assuming that there are some House districts partly (but not entirely) in each of those three Senate Districts; Pennsylvania could have some 4:1 nested "pairs" of House and Senate districts as Pennsylvania has 50 Senators and 203 Representatives, and 100.74% of 4/203 is approximately equal to 99.26% of 1/50).  At the risk of sounding rude, having some (or even a decent percentage in states with a high House district:Senate district ratio) House districts entirely within one Senate district is not really notable.  It's to be expected, perhaps, in corners of a state, particularly the pointier ones (eg. the two West Virginia panhandles, the Oklahoma panhandle and eastern Tennessee).  I imagine every Senate district in Maine has at least one House district entirely within each Senate district (of course, Maine's House:Senate member (and district) ratio is 4.31:1, like Pennslyvania's ratio higher than the national average so it would be more unnatural not to have a House district entirely within each Senate district than in most other states).  What's more notable is if all (or even most) Senate districts are made up entirely of whole House districts, not just containing one or more House districts which would be smaller (if both types of districts are single-member districts) after all.

Basically correct, but I'd doubt that most have more than two, for some odd reason.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2011, 07:48:13 pm »

Alaska The constitution requires that the 20 senate districts be comprised of two house districts.  It is not an absolute requirement that the senate districts be contiguous (only to the extent practicable).  SD A is barely contiguous, and it possible that HD 2 was drawn so as to provide contiguity with HD 1.  There are some other senate districts that are simply attached to each other (C and H for example).

HD1 and HD2 were drawn the way they were to put the "larger" Southeast Alaskan towns other than Juneau into the same Senate District, and put the more rural Southeast Alaskan villages in HD5, which then ends up in the same Senate District C as the very geographically large, very rural HD6 in interior Alaska.  Basically, it's an attempt to put communities of similar interest together in Senate Districts.

HD1 is basically Ketchikan, HD2 Sitka, Wrangell and Petersburg - the largest towns of Southeast Alaska not named Juneau.  Both are in SD A.  HD3 is urban Juneau; HD4 is suburban Juneau.  They make up in SD B.  It's the state capital and a government town.  HD5 is the really rural areas of Southeast Alaska, from Haines to Craig to Hyder. And HD 6 is bush interior Alaska - many areas of which are either on far-flung areas of the road network or entirely off of it.  They have more in common for a senate district than Ketchikan, Skagway or Juneau.

There are rational reasons for putting these areas together, especially in the Southeast.  Most Southeast towns are not connected by roads, and putting part of Petersburg in a district with Juneau just to balance population wouldn't make much sense.  You need a plane or ferry to get there from there.  Someone from Juneau probably wouldn't adequately represent Petersburg and vice versa.

A similar arguments can be made in Hawaii - that putting urban or even suburban Honolulu in a district with more rural Kauai just to balance population doesn't make much sense since you can't drive from Oahu to Kauai and their interests aren't even close to the same.
The point is that in Alaska senate districts are comprised of two House districts rather than being subdivided into two house districts.

Senate district C would not have been drawn the way that it was if you drew the senate districts.  Neither would H, and A might not have been drawn exactly the way it was.

Instead you figure out how many House districts can be drawn in the panhandle, and realize that you can draw 5 if you include Cordova.  That's two for Juneau, one for Ketchikan, and two for everyone else.  You put Cordova, Haines, and Skagway in one district; and Wrangell and Petersburg in the other and play around to try to get the population balanced.  Afterward that you start pairing them up, and since you have an odd number of House districts you stick 5 and 6 together. 

The panhandle will likely be down to 4 house districts, you will still have 2 in Juneau and 1 in Ketchikan, but they will likely have to go outside the immediate areas to get enough population.  You have to pick and choose, and throw everything else into the 4 the district.

Alaska does not require senate districts to be contiguous.  And if HD-1 and HD-2 did not connect, they could still be placed in a common senate district.
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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2011, 11:25:59 pm »

The point is that in Alaska senate districts are comprised of two House districts rather than being subdivided into two house districts.

Senate district C would not have been drawn the way that it was if you drew the senate districts.  Neither would H, and A might not have been drawn exactly the way it was.

Instead you figure out how many House districts can be drawn in the panhandle, and realize that you can draw 5 if you include Cordova.  That's two for Juneau, one for Ketchikan, and two for everyone else.  You put Cordova, Haines, and Skagway in one district; and Wrangell and Petersburg in the other and play around to try to get the population balanced.  Afterward that you start pairing them up, and since you have an odd number of House districts you stick 5 and 6 together. 

The panhandle will likely be down to 4 house districts, you will still have 2 in Juneau and 1 in Ketchikan, but they will likely have to go outside the immediate areas to get enough population.  You have to pick and choose, and throw everything else into the 4 the district.

Alaska does not require senate districts to be contiguous.  And if HD-1 and HD-2 did not connect, they could still be placed in a common senate district.

I think that if you start drawing Senate districts from the Southeast, you'd end up with the same map as the House map.   When drawing the current map, the first order of business would be to keep Juneau together, which would necessitate putting Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell together, and leave you with a remainder.  The remainder has more in common with bush interior Alaska than any other territory in the rest of Alaska, so putting those areas together in the same Senate District makes sense.

I agree that the Southeast will likely be down to 4 districts, which will necessitate adding some areas to the Juneau district (Skagway/Haines/Gustavus being the most logical), and extending SD A further into the Southeast Bush.  How much of what's left of old HD5 remains in SD C will likely depend on the extent of population loss in the rest of Southeast Alaska.
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2011, 03:59:19 am »

The point is that in Alaska senate districts are comprised of two House districts rather than being subdivided into two house districts.

Senate district C would not have been drawn the way that it was if you drew the senate districts.  Neither would H, and A might not have been drawn exactly the way it was.

Instead you figure out how many House districts can be drawn in the panhandle, and realize that you can draw 5 if you include Cordova.  That's two for Juneau, one for Ketchikan, and two for everyone else.  You put Cordova, Haines, and Skagway in one district; and Wrangell and Petersburg in the other and play around to try to get the population balanced.  Afterward that you start pairing them up, and since you have an odd number of House districts you stick 5 and 6 together. 

The panhandle will likely be down to 4 house districts, you will still have 2 in Juneau and 1 in Ketchikan, but they will likely have to go outside the immediate areas to get enough population.  You have to pick and choose, and throw everything else into the 4 the district.

Alaska does not require senate districts to be contiguous.  And if HD-1 and HD-2 did not connect, they could still be placed in a common senate district.

I think that if you start drawing Senate districts from the Southeast, you'd end up with the same map as the House map.   When drawing the current map, the first order of business would be to keep Juneau together, which would necessitate putting Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell together, and leave you with a remainder.  The remainder has more in common with bush interior Alaska than any other territory in the rest of Alaska, so putting those areas together in the same Senate District makes sense.

I agree that the Southeast will likely be down to 4 districts, which will necessitate adding some areas to the Juneau district (Skagway/Haines/Gustavus being the most logical), and extending SD A further into the Southeast Bush.  How much of what's left of old HD5 remains in SD C will likely depend on the extent of population loss in the rest of Southeast Alaska.
I think that if you were drawing senate districts first, you would have one in Juneau, one in Ketchikan-Wrangell-Petersburg, and then the Sitka-Haines-Skagway-Cordova district continues across to Valdez and the Kenai peninsula, and perhaps northward to the Alaska Highway/

The western and northern parts of HD 6 is 76% AIAN, (including AIAN+white)   The eastern arm of HD 6 (say from the Alaska highway south is 28% AIAN).  Overall the district is 56% AIAN.   HD 5 is 36% AIAN, but this is somewhat concentrated in the south of the district, so you have a district nearly 2000 miles long with 30,000 people and you are trying to connect concentrated Inuit areas with Indian areas 1000 miles apart.
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2011, 04:01:12 am »
« Edited: February 09, 2011, 04:04:39 am by HCPIAFM »

No Eskimos in HD6. What you're doing is combining Athapascans with Tlingit.

Oh, also "Inuit" is not the "correct" PC term to use for Alaska Eskimos. They're "Aleut" on the South Coast (even though they really aren't Aleuts) where they object to the older term "Pacific Eskimo", Yup'ik on the west coast and Inupiat on the north coast - Inuit don't begin until a little east of the Alaskan-Canadian border. Eskimo is not really considered inappropriate by Yup'ik and Inupiat, either (unlike in Canada, where it's gone decidely non-PC.) Mind you, Yup'ik are almost 3/4 of Alaskan Eskimos (and I'm including the south coast ones.)
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2011, 03:27:02 pm »

I think that if you were drawing senate districts first, you would have one in Juneau, one in Ketchikan-Wrangell-Petersburg, and then the Sitka-Haines-Skagway-Cordova district continues across to Valdez and the Kenai peninsula, and perhaps northward to the Alaska Highway

Perhaps.  But if you were to do that, Valdez or (depending on which part of the Kenai you include) Homer would end up being the largest town in the district, shifting the balance of power in the district from small village Alaska to middling towns.  While I haven't calculated the population of every HD 5 town, I'm guessing Valdez is at least double the size of the next closest town.  By attaching HD 5 and 6, you end up with a truly rural Senate district instead of two Senate districts that would likely be dominated by whatever mid-sized towns you put in them, due to greater voter registration and turnout.

By the way, the current SD C Senator is from Angoon in the Southeast.  His predecessor was from Rampart in Interior Alaska.   Given Southeast Alaska's likely loss of population, it will be interesting to see if they can even try to draw a seat to keep the sitting Senator in power.

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I didn't take race into account, but that would be another reason to attach HD5 to HD6 instead of diluting the Alaskan native population in both by attaching each to a more white district.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2011, 08:50:55 pm »

I think that if you were drawing senate districts first, you would have one in Juneau, one in Ketchikan-Wrangell-Petersburg, and then the Sitka-Haines-Skagway-Cordova district continues across to Valdez and the Kenai peninsula, and perhaps northward to the Alaska Highway

Perhaps.  But if you were to do that, Valdez or (depending on which part of the Kenai you include) Homer would end up being the largest town in the district, shifting the balance of power in the district from small village Alaska to middling towns.  While I haven't calculated the population of every HD 5 town, I'm guessing Valdez is at least double the size of the next closest town.  By attaching HD 5 and 6, you end up with a truly rural Senate district instead of two Senate districts that would likely be dominated by whatever mid-sized towns you put in them, due to greater voter registration and turnout.

By the way, the current SD C Senator is from Angoon in the Southeast.  His predecessor was from Rampart in Interior Alaska.   Given Southeast Alaska's likely loss of population, it will be interesting to see if they can even try to draw a seat to keep the sitting Senator in power.

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I didn't take race into account, but that would be another reason to attach HD5 to HD6 instead of diluting the Alaskan native population in both by attaching each to a more white district.
In 2001 after the redistricting commission drew its plan there was a court challenge, and the Alaska Supreme Court overruled parts of the plan.  They ruled that HD 5 was not compact, but ordered it to be reviewed because it might qualify under the VRA.  The plaintiff's on that segment of the case were from Craig, which is in the tip of the tail of HD-5 as it wraps below Ketcihikan and heads north.  The plaintiffs had agreed that the inclusion of Cordova was required to get enough population (apparently there have been previous court cases that overturned placing Cordova with the panhandle), but the district did not need to go south of Baranoff Island (Sitka).  But a dissent noted that the alternative HD-2 would have included Petersburg and Wrangell, and then included an arm that split Haines borough so it could included Klukwan (NW of Haines).   So apparently, they were seeking to make that be the Tlingit opportunity district. 

Anyhow the redistricting commission made an affirmative finding that they were intending to create a VRA district, which overrode the compactness requirement of the Alaska constitution.  The dissent in the Supreme Court would have upheld HD-5 on socio-economic integration grounds (claiming that the constitution places that and compactness on equal footing).

Senate C might not qualify as a VRA district because it is not compact and combines Athabascans and Tlinglits.

HD-5 currently reaches to the eastern tip of Kenai, and it abuts the boundary of Valdez (Cordova is west of the dividing line between HD 6 and HD 12.  So if you were drawing a senate district, inclusion of Valdez would be trivial. 

Kenai has almost 3 house districts.  One is in the town of Kenai, and the other is in the immediate vicinity.  The other included Seward, Homer, and then jumps across Cook Inlet (I don't think there are many people there).  So between Valdez and Seward you may be getting close to enough population.

The Supreme Court also overturned the Anchorage districts, suggesting that they did not meet the population equality standard of the Alaska constitution (in effect, they said that there might not be the same 10% prima facie presumption of constitutionality, that the SCOTUS appears to have set down, at least in urban areas.
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