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  Anybody got a quick list for me
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Author Topic: Anybody got a quick list for me  (Read 2476 times)
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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2011, 10:22:48 pm »

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.

Thanks for the info.  Kenai Peninsula Borough actually includes quite a bit of the very sparsely populated area on the opposite side of Cook Inlet.  That's probably the reason that HD-35 extends across the inlet.  There's at least one small village on the other side of Cook Inlet within Kenai Peninsula Borough (Tyonek), but that's in HD-6.

Also, the areas of HD-5 that are on Kenai Peninsula are actually in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, not Kenai Peninsula Borough itself.  The other area of the Valdez-Cordova Census Area that's not in HD-5 or Kenai Peninsula borough is the city of Whittier, which is closer to Anchorage (and its year-round port).  It is in HD-12 with Valdez.
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2011, 05:52:57 pm »

Utah The 1895 constitution provided that house member were apportioned by county, with each county guaranteed one member.  Senate districts were comprised of whole counties, but single counties could be apportioned multiple senators.  Since representative districts corresponded to single counties, and senate districts to one or more counties, there was nesting in a sense.

Utah had been settled for 50 years before it was admitted to the Union so they at least had some idea how settlement would occur, and even at that time, it was highly concentrated along the Wasatch Front.  The original constitution provided an apportionment of 18 senators and 45 representatives, with Salt Lake County having 5 senators and 10 representatives.  It said that the number of senators could increase up to 30 senators, with between 2 and 3 times as many representatives.

As time went along, additional senators and representative were added along the Wasatch Front to try to keep balance.  In the 1964 election, the Democrats took control of the legislature, in part due to 2 new senate districts and 5 new house districts.

But some of the rural counties simply never grew beyond a little over 1000.  By the time of the OMOV decision, it would have required a House of 890 members to comply with OMOV and the constitutional requirement of one representative per county.  After Utah was forced to redistricting, they went to multi-county representative districts, and added a few more legislators to cushion the impact on rural areas.  After losing another case after the initial 1970s redistricting, Utah was forced to split counties in districts crossing county lines.  After this redistricting, Utah ended up with 29 senators and 75 representatives (including 32 in Salt Lake County).  Since districts no longer corresponded to whole counties, there was no nesting.

The current constitution simply freezes the senate at 29 members, and retains the original ratio limits of between 1:2 and 1:3.   The current legislature has the same number of representatives as it did after the 1970s, 2nd redistricting.  Utah has 29 counties and 29 senators, but there was never any requirement for one senator per county, but rather that each county have at least one representative.

Nevada The original constitution provided for apportionment by population, a maximum of 75 legislators, and the number of senators between 1/2 and 1/3 of the number of assemblymen. 

By 1915, Nevada had legislatively adopted a system of one senator per county, and at least one assemblyman per county, with 16 senators and 37 assemblymen.  When the 17th county was added, there was one more senator.  The number of assemblymen was gradually increased to recognize growth in Reno and later Las Vegas.  This arrangement was formalized in the constitution in 1950 when there were 17 senators and 47 assemblymen.  In 1961, they realized that by reducing the the size of the assembly to 37, they could reduce the dominance of Clark and Washoe counties, since every county was guaranteed one representative.  In 1961, all counties but Clark, Washoe, and Elko had one senator and one representative.

After the OMOV decision, the legislature was increased to 20:40 which was close to the previous 17:37, but with dramatic changes in the districts.  Apportionment of legislators was among (1) Clark, (2) Washoe, and (3) The rest of the state.  In each area, there was a 1:2 ratio between senators and assemblymen.  In the rural counties, multi-county senate districts were drawn.  These might be split into two single member assembly districts, or kept as 2-member assembly districts.  In Las Vegas and Reno there were large multimember districts ( up to 9 assembly members and 5 senators, or roughly 1/4 of each body).

In the 1970s assembly districts were made single member, while the size of multimember senator districts was reduced, a trend that has continued so that only two 2-member senate districts remain.  This was also the first legislature with a majority from Clark County. 

The legislature was increased to 21:42 in 1981 so that Clark County could have more legislators not at expense of the rest of the state.  In 1991, nesting was largely abandoned.  I suspect it was because incumbents were looking after their own interests, and population growth requiring radical changes.   By 2001 county lines are largely ignored, with 70% of the legislature from Clark County, they are probably little concerned that other districts are not whole counties if that would mean they would have a few 1000 less persons.

So while Nevada has a 1:2 ratio in seats and has had nesting in the past, there is no requirement.

Incidentally, Nevada was not formed to protect the gold and silver for the Union (a myth perpetuated by an episode in Bonanza in which Little Joe, a delegate to a statehood constitutional convention became romantically involved with the daughter of a southern sympathizer).  Lincoln faced an election challenge from John C Fremont, favored by Radical Republicans; and George McClellan, and needed the electoral votes.  As it turned out, Fremont withdrew because he was concerned about a McClellan victory (though McClellan favored continuing the war, the Democratic platform was written by Copperheads).  While Lincoln had a big electoral college victory, his popular vote majority was only 55% to 45%.

Congress provided for possibility of statehood in 3 territories, Nebraska, Colorado, and Nevada.  The Nebraska convention did not produce a constitution, and voters in Colorado rejected their proposed constitution.  In Nevada, a constitution was approved by the voters.  Cabinet members opposed to statehood convinced Lincoln, that he should read the constitution before proclaiming statehood.  Versions sent overland and by sea had not reached Lincoln before the 1864 election.  Finally, the constitution was transmitted by telegraph (it had to be relayed through Salt Lake, Chicago, and Philadelphia because there was not a continuous telegraph network), and statehood was proclaimed on October 31, 1864, days before the election.  The telegram of 16,543 words (at a cost of $3400) was believed to be the longest telegram ever, but it has since been determined that the first 6 books of the Revised Version of the New Testament (118,000 words) were transmitted from New York to Chicago in 1881, so that they could be published in the Chicago Tribune

Idaho Before the OMOV decisions, the Idaho constitution provided that each county have one senator, and representatives be elected from single counties.  The legislature in 1965 passed a senate plan that would elect senators from multi-county multi-senator districts, but with individual senators chosen by county.  Apparently these multi-county districts combined large and small counties so as to address equal population concerns (eg a 9-county district would have 9/44 of the state population - since Idaho has 44 counties.  The house plan provided multi-county districts, but left elections within large counties as at large.

After the courts rejected the senate plan, the legislature created a plan where 1 senator and 2 representatives were elected from each legislative district, and county lines would be ignored.  Idaho doesn't regard these to be multi-member districts, but rather would consider districts that elected 2 senators and 4 representatives, or 3 senators and 6 representatives as being multi-member.  Idaho limits the number of representatives to not more than twice the number of senators, and at times has gone below that limit, so that Idaho has had a closer balance in size of the two chambers than other states, particularly when it had one senator per county.

Once the decision was made to divide the state into 35 population-based senate districts, a limit of 70 representative was also required, and this could be easily be met by nesting, and it matched the practice in neighboring Washington.

The 1980s redistricting was particularly contentious, with a Democratic governor who vetoed several reapportionment plans.  There was also a state court decision that said that the state constitution provision of not splitting counties was still in effect so long as equal population standards could be met.  The court eventually crafted a plan using floterial districts.  A floterial district is a district that overlays a number of smaller districts, in which all voters can vote.  So you  might have 4 districts with similar populations, though not within the 10% limit.  But collectively the population of the 4 districts was equivalent to the population of 5 districts within the 10% limit.

Floterial districts are not constitutional in cases where there is a large disparity in population between the areas.  For example, if you had one county entitled to 5.5 representatives, and a neighbor entitled to 0.5 representatives, you can not apportion 5 representatives to the larger county, and one floterial district to the two counties together, since voters from the larger county would overwhelm those from the smaller county.

The Idaho legislature tried to devise a plan that would comply with the state court's decision, but their alternative was rejected, and the court-ordered plan was used through the 1980s.  In 1984, Idaho voters turned down a constitutional amendment that would permit splitting of counties.  In 1986, they approved an amendment that would reduce the size of the legislature AND permit splitting of counties.  This reduction of the legislature size may have been enough sizzle to get an amendment approved.

The 1990s redistricting was also contentious (again there was a Democratic governor), and eventually led to creation of a redistricting commission.  The redistricting commission first redistricted for the 2000s.  And like every plan drawn by the legislature from the 1960s onward was rejected by the courts.

The Idaho constitution provides a senate of 30 to 35 members, and limits combining parts of counties in multi-county districts only to the extent necessary to meet federal OMOV standards.  It is conceivable that a smaller number of districts might result in much fewer county splits, and could force a reduction in the size of the legislature.
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