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publicunofficial
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« Reply #125 on: December 04, 2014, 11:55:07 pm »

I vote aye on item six.
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muon2
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« Reply #126 on: December 04, 2014, 11:57:00 pm »

I see there are no votes on Item 7, nor any questions or suggested changes. To remind the commission, under Item 3 the INEQUALITY score is used to break a tie when two plans have both the same CHOP and EROSITY scores. The higher INEQUALITY is eliminated. If one uses the range directly then a one person difference would eliminate a plan. By grouping into bands based on some statistical measure then there remains the possibility that two plans with identical CHOP and EROSITY could still both go before commission for their vote if their ranges are statistically close. The INEQUALITY table in Item 7 is one way to provide that statistical grouping. If the commission prefers they can use the range directly and not group ranges into a score.
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morgieb
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« Reply #127 on: December 05, 2014, 01:05:42 am »

I vote aye on Item 7.
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« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2014, 06:29:09 am »

I don't totally understand item 7, could you explain it a little more please, Muon?
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morgieb
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« Reply #129 on: December 05, 2014, 07:22:32 am »

I don't totally understand item 7, could you explain it a little more please, Muon?
The way I interpreted it was a score on how inequitable the deviation of the districts are. So the higher the deviation, the higher the inequality score.

I'm guessing the numbers are based on a square root or something? My mathematic theory knowledge hasn't had much fine-tuning.
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traininthedistance
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« Reply #130 on: December 05, 2014, 11:48:09 am »

One can think of each county chop as having one less whole county CD in a state, which is equivalent to having one less chop of the state as a whole. So, the table is another way of saying when two plans have statistically equivalent ranges that would be expected for that number of whole county CDs or whole county groups of CDs. For example train-B (submission 2) has 3 whole county CDs (5, 6, 9) and two whole county groups of CDs (NoVa, Richmond/Hampton Roads) for a total of 4 state chops. train didn't list the deviations for his CDs, but I calculate the range to be 2211 which is a score of 6, so it is statistically above the theoretical best.

FWIW, my range is actually 1780; from +988 (District 11) to -792 (District 5).  Knowing that these are the ranges you're choosing, I suppose just splitting Fairfax differently might get me down to a score of 5, and I'll try that at some point. I believe districts 6 and 9 together are just over 900 (they're around plus-minus 470), so pushing inequality further than that won't really work.  (Though I would argue strenuously against any efforts to allow inequality more than 1 percent; and would never myself even make a map that availed itself of half that wiggle room.)
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muon2
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« Reply #131 on: December 05, 2014, 02:43:38 pm »

One can think of each county chop as having one less whole county CD in a state, which is equivalent to having one less chop of the state as a whole. So, the table is another way of saying when two plans have statistically equivalent ranges that would be expected for that number of whole county CDs or whole county groups of CDs. For example train-B (submission 2) has 3 whole county CDs (5, 6, 9) and two whole county groups of CDs (NoVa, Richmond/Hampton Roads) for a total of 4 state chops. train didn't list the deviations for his CDs, but I calculate the range to be 2211 which is a score of 6, so it is statistically above the theoretical best.

FWIW, my range is actually 1780; from +988 (District 11) to -792 (District 5).  Knowing that these are the ranges you're choosing, I suppose just splitting Fairfax differently might get me down to a score of 5, and I'll try that at some point. I believe districts 6 and 9 together are just over 900 (they're around plus-minus 470), so pushing inequality further than that won't really work.  (Though I would argue strenuously against any efforts to allow inequality more than 1 percent; and would never myself even make a map that availed itself of half that wiggle room.)

I found my error in a thin precinct in Bedford adjacent to Lynchburg. That's why deviation is included in Item 1 for plan submissions. In any case the Item 7 table would still put the score at I=6. After the correction I did some boundary manipulation. Small shifts in Portsmouth and Norfolk gets the deviations to -405/-214/+204 for those three CDs without changing the BVAP in CD 4. Small shifts in Loudoun and Fairfax got deviations of +131/+586/+534/+298 for CDs 7,8,10,11. That would bring the range down to 1378 for a score of I=5. Those types of shifts I would expect the crowd to submit to improve plans during the submission phase.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #132 on: December 06, 2014, 11:34:30 pm »

There is no reason for such a tight limit on range since it leads to gratuitous chops and gerrymandering.

The commission can amend an item. However, a 10% range is presumably too large, since it is the allowed state standard and the federal standard is stricter. Federal ranges of up to 1% have been upheld, and like with the VRA the commission has to determine if it wishes to push federal law by extending beyond what is clearly permissible.

Speaking of the commission, ElectionsGuy has PM'ed me to say that he declines to take a seat on the commission. That moves X into the role of commissioner. JerryArkansas now joins SLCValleyMan as an alternate.
'Tennant' makes it clear that 'Karcher' was misread, and that "practicable" must take into account whether the deviations of a plan are necessary as a consequence of other state objectives.  There is nothing in 'Karcher' nor 'Kirkpatrick' that says 1% is an outside limit.

It happens that New Jersey, using townships could reach such a limit, and so could West Virginia.

Ideally, a Virginia commission would have established its other criteria first rather than after the population equality criteria.
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muon2
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« Reply #133 on: December 06, 2014, 11:53:55 pm »
« Edited: December 07, 2014, 12:33:31 am by muon2 »

There is no reason for such a tight limit on range since it leads to gratuitous chops and gerrymandering.

The commission can amend an item. However, a 10% range is presumably too large, since it is the allowed state standard and the federal standard is stricter. Federal ranges of up to 1% have been upheld, and like with the VRA the commission has to determine if it wishes to push federal law by extending beyond what is clearly permissible.

Speaking of the commission, ElectionsGuy has PM'ed me to say that he declines to take a seat on the commission. That moves X into the role of commissioner. JerryArkansas now joins SLCValleyMan as an alternate.
'Tennant' makes it clear that 'Karcher' was misread, and that "practicable" must take into account whether the deviations of a plan are necessary as a consequence of other state objectives.  There is nothing in 'Karcher' nor 'Kirkpatrick' that says 1% is an outside limit.

It happens that New Jersey, using townships could reach such a limit, and so could West Virginia.

Ideally, a Virginia commission would have established its other criteria first rather than after the population equality criteria.

I understand that, but a commission will still have a number in mind as to the outside limit of range. Even in local jurisdictions that I've worked with the body sets a range if they want to be tighter than 10% before they weigh in on other criteria. The process invariably begins by showing how large the variances have become between districts, and if the range is acceptable a local body almost always chooses to make no changes. If the post-census range is not acceptable, the body determines what is acceptable.

Practicable is still going to be tighter than substantially equal, so the federal standard is going to be stricter than the state standard. How far can SCOTUS go before it looks like the federal standard isn't really different than the state standard?
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jimrtex
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« Reply #134 on: December 07, 2014, 01:05:33 am »

Ideally, a Virginia commission would have established its other criteria first rather than after the population equality criteria.
I understand that, but a commission will still have a number in mind as to the outside limit of range. Even in local jurisdictions that I've worked with the body sets a range if they want to be tighter than 10% before they weigh in on other criteria. Practicable is still going to be tighter than substantially equal, so the federal standard is going to be stricter than the state standard. How far can SCOTUS go before it looks like the federal standard isn't really different than the state standard?
Wesberry v Sanders was decided on the wrong basis.   Read Justice White's concurring opinion.  And it was a mistake to set a safe harbor of 5% for state and local redistricting.  Both lead to gerrymandering.

Consider the current Virginia litigation.  Virginia reduced the number of chops, but then claimed that some were necessary to get equal population, and therefore it was OK to have bunches for VA-3.  Had they set a higher standard for political integrity, then they couldn't have done all the chops for VA-3.

If we are going to use the fundamental principle behind 'Wesberry v Sanders', then we should be balancing CVAP.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #135 on: December 07, 2014, 01:33:34 am »

As an interest group representative from the Shenandoah Valley, I would like to express my opinion of the various preceding maps.

Jimrtex: Your plan slices and dices the natural community of interest in NW Virginia. It is unacceptable.
Do you like this better?

Img
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muon2
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« Reply #136 on: December 07, 2014, 08:30:46 am »
« Edited: December 07, 2014, 02:58:31 pm by muon2 »

Ideally, a Virginia commission would have established its other criteria first rather than after the population equality criteria.
I understand that, but a commission will still have a number in mind as to the outside limit of range. Even in local jurisdictions that I've worked with the body sets a range if they want to be tighter than 10% before they weigh in on other criteria. Practicable is still going to be tighter than substantially equal, so the federal standard is going to be stricter than the state standard. How far can SCOTUS go before it looks like the federal standard isn't really different than the state standard?
Wesberry v Sanders was decided on the wrong basis.   Read Justice White's concurring opinion.  And it was a mistake to set a safe harbor of 5% for state and local redistricting.  Both lead to gerrymandering.

Consider the current Virginia litigation.  Virginia reduced the number of chops, but then claimed that some were necessary to get equal population, and therefore it was OK to have bunches for VA-3.  Had they set a higher standard for political integrity, then they couldn't have done all the chops for VA-3.

If we are going to use the fundamental principle behind 'Wesberry v Sanders', then we should be balancing CVAP.

I agree with you about how VA could have fared better in court, but that doesn't address population variance. The theoretical question of constitutional law doesn't necessarily solve the problem that would face a real commission today. In general a commission acts after a Census has released new population data. If the districts are malapportioned due to the new populations, then they must be redrawn. That forces the question as to how much variance in a CD would be construed as malapportioned after a Census, since that then sets the inequality goal for the commission. Despite the lack of clarity on that point in Karcher and other cases, experts will advise redistricting panels as to what range inequality may be a safe harbor when other neutral criteria are used in the plan. Given that SCOTUS has upheld plans of nearly 1% range, that number seems like sound advice to a commission, unless that commission specifically wants to set up a test case to demonstrate that larger ranges will survive SCOTUS scrutiny.

Adding: In Tennant WV had a range of 9.6% of the quota for its CDs after the Census and before redistricting. That would qualify as substantially equal under a state standard, but the  parties recognized that it would not be a minor variation and could not be justified for a federal plan. That prompted the legislature to redraw the districts. The adopted plan, upheld by SCOTUS, reduced 9.6% to 0.8% and that then constituted a minor variation that could be justified by the criteria used by the state. If a plan has more than a 1% range I would expect significant legal debate as to whether that can be considered a minor variation.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #137 on: December 07, 2014, 03:45:41 pm »

[Wesberry v Sanders was decided on the wrong basis.   Read Justice White's concurring opinion.  And it was a mistake to set a safe harbor of 5% for state and local redistricting.  Both lead to gerrymandering.

Consider the current Virginia litigation.  Virginia reduced the number of chops, but then claimed that some were necessary to get equal population, and therefore it was OK to have bunches for VA-3.  Had they set a higher standard for political integrity, then they couldn't have done all the chops for VA-3.

If we are going to use the fundamental principle behind 'Wesberry v Sanders', then we should be balancing CVAP.

I agree with you about how VA could have fared better in court, but that doesn't address population variance. The theoretical question of constitutional law doesn't necessarily solve the problem that would face a real commission today. In general a commission acts after a Census has released new population data. If the districts are malapportioned due to the new populations, then they must be redrawn. That forces the question as to how much variance in a CD would be construed as malapportioned after a Census, since that then sets the inequality goal for the commission. Despite the lack of clarity on that point in Karcher and other cases, experts will advise redistricting panels as to what range inequality may be a safe harbor when other neutral criteria are used in the plan. Given that SCOTUS has upheld plans of nearly 1% range, that number seems like sound advice to a commission, unless that commission specifically wants to set up a test case to demonstrate that larger ranges will survive SCOTUS scrutiny.
That a commission acts after the census has been released is a flaw in process.

If Virginia had set a more relaxed population standard in order to better conform to political subdivisions and UCCs, then they would never been able to produce VA-3, or if they had, it would have been so off the charts in terms of chops, that it could not be created.  Virginia is hiding their use of exact population equality, and purported intent to reduce chops.

Experts will advise legislators that they can get away with murder if they adhere to strict population equality.

The principle behind an independent commission is that they don't want to commit murder.  Any advisers would take that into account.

Alternatively, the commission could do like was done in Arkansas after the 2000 census, when the legislature passed two plans, one a whole-county plan, and another with three county splits that would make the districts identical in population.

Nobody challenged the whole county plan.

Anybody who sues over population equality is not trying to get population equality.  They are trying to use any population inequality as a basis for a larger attack, which will cause a court to redraw the map.

Making small gratuitous chops of a few 1000 people won't be worth the effort of suing.

I have produced a plan with 3 chops, all within UCC within 1% deviation.  If an alternative within 0.5% deviation balloons the number of chops and ignores UCC, then the greater equality serves no legitimate or rational purpose.
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muon2
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« Reply #138 on: December 07, 2014, 06:12:43 pm »

That a commission acts after the census has been released is a flaw in process.
If the Census shows the population changes to the district have induced minimal variations to equal population, there is no reason for the commission to act at all. Therefore the commission must wait for the Census results.

Quote
If Virginia had set a more relaxed population standard in order to better conform to political subdivisions and UCCs, then they would never been able to produce VA-3, or if they had, it would have been so off the charts in terms of chops, that it could not be created.  Virginia is hiding their use of exact population equality, and purported intent to reduce chops.
I have no disagreement, other than to add that VA still had the constraint of creating a CD where the black population would be likely to elect the candidate of their choice.

Quote
Experts will advise legislators that they can get away with murder if they adhere to strict population equality.

The principle behind an independent commission is that they don't want to commit murder.  Any advisers would take that into account.
True, but in local redistricting the question is still put the body as to what maximum range they will tolerate, and many adopt a standard tighter than 10%. In light of Tennant, I would expect advisers to congressional commissions to do the same, but pose the question in terms of what range will they consider to be consistent with a minor variance: 0.79%, 1%, 2%, etc.

Quote
Alternatively, the commission could do like was done in Arkansas after the 2000 census, when the legislature passed two plans, one a whole-county plan, and another with three county splits that would make the districts identical in population.

Nobody challenged the whole county plan.

Anybody who sues over population equality is not trying to get population equality.  They are trying to use any population inequality as a basis for a larger attack, which will cause a court to redraw the map.
The range of the AR plan was very nearly 1% (1.002% from the Statistical Abstract for 2003). Even if it was challenged and upheld it wouldn't give us much guidance beyond the 0.8% allowed in Tennant.

Quote
Making small gratuitous chops of a few 1000 people won't be worth the effort of suing.

I have produced a plan with 3 chops, all within UCC within 1% deviation.  If an alternative within 0.5% deviation balloons the number of chops and ignores UCC, then the greater equality serves no legitimate or rational purpose.

And if a 2% range is ok, then someone else will propose a plan with fewer chops or less erosity and a 5% range and claim its ok by the same logic. But at some point variances cease to be minor. I don't know where that point is but it is presumably somewhere between 0.8% and 9.6% based on the facts in Tennant. As an adviser I would leave that decision to the commission.
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muon2
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« Reply #139 on: December 08, 2014, 06:25:36 am »
« Edited: December 08, 2014, 06:41:53 am by muon2 »

The discussion/voting period for 6, 7 and 8 have passed. Item 6 has four votes in favor from Morgieb, X, Miles and fuzzy, so it is adopted. Item 7 only has one vote in favor from Morgieb, so votes are needed from other commissioners (or alternates) before it is adopted, rejected, or amended. Item 8 has no votes or discussion from the commission, so perhaps an extension of the discussion/voting period is in order.

Would it help if I move the approved items into a separate thread, so one doesn't have to scroll back through multiple pages?
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JerryArkansas
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« Reply #140 on: December 08, 2014, 06:45:15 am »

I approve of items 7 and 8.
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« Reply #141 on: December 08, 2014, 07:55:05 am »

The discussion/voting period for 6, 7 and 8 have passed. Item 6 has four votes in favor from Morgieb, X, Miles and fuzzy, so it is adopted. Item 7 only has one vote in favor from Morgieb, so votes are needed from other commissioners (or alternates) before it is adopted, rejected, or amended. Item 8 has no votes or discussion from the commission, so perhaps an extension of the discussion/voting period is in order.

Would it help if I move the approved items into a separate thread, so one doesn't have to scroll back through multiple pages?

Yeah, that'd be very helpful!  Aye on 7, btw.
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muon2
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« Reply #142 on: December 08, 2014, 10:52:58 am »

The discussion/voting period for 6, 7 and 8 have passed. Item 6 has four votes in favor from Morgieb, X, Miles and fuzzy, so it is adopted. Item 7 only has one vote in favor from Morgieb, so votes are needed from other commissioners (or alternates) before it is adopted, rejected, or amended. Item 8 has no votes or discussion from the commission, so perhaps an extension of the discussion/voting period is in order.

Would it help if I move the approved items into a separate thread, so one doesn't have to scroll back through multiple pages?

Yeah, that'd be very helpful!  Aye on 7, btw.

I've done that, and those items now approved are in a thread titled The Muon Rules.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #143 on: December 08, 2014, 12:46:44 pm »

That a commission acts after the census has been released is a flaw in process.
If the Census shows the population changes to the district have induced minimal variations to equal population, there is no reason for the commission to act at all. Therefore the commission must wait for the Census results.
There is an 8.4% difference between VA-9 and VA-10 according to the 2013 ACS.  It would gross negligence to wait until 2021.

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Quote
If Virginia had set a more relaxed population standard in order to better conform to political subdivisions and UCCs, then they would never been able to produce VA-3, or if they had, it would have been so off the charts in terms of chops, that it could not be created.  Virginia is hiding their use of exact population equality, and purported intent to reduce chops.
I have no disagreement, other than to add that VA still had the constraint of creating a CD where the black population would be likely to elect the candidate of their choice.
There is no area in Virginia that satisfies the first prong of the Gingles test.

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Quote
Experts will advise legislators that they can get away with murder if they adhere to strict population equality.

The principle behind an independent commission is that they don't want to commit murder.  Any advisers would take that into account.
True, but in local redistricting the question is still put the body as to what maximum range they will tolerate, and many adopt a standard tighter than 10%. In light of Tennant, I would expect advisers to congressional commissions to do the same, but pose the question in terms of what range will they consider to be consistent with a minor variance: 0.79%, 1%, 2%, etc.
Did West Virginia do this?

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Quote
Alternatively, the commission could do like was done in Arkansas after the 2000 census, when the legislature passed two plans, one a whole-county plan, and another with three county splits that would make the districts identical in population.

Nobody challenged the whole county plan.

Anybody who sues over population equality is not trying to get population equality.  They are trying to use any population inequality as a basis for a larger attack, which will cause a court to redraw the map.
The range of the AR plan was very nearly 1% (1.002% from the Statistical Abstract for 2003). Even if it was challenged and upheld it wouldn't give us much guidance beyond the 0.8% allowed in Tennant.
Kanawha County has 191,000 persons.  The next most populous county, Berkeley, barely half of that.  Pulaski County has 391,000.

Quote
Quote
Making small gratuitous chops of a few 1000 people won't be worth the effort of suing.

I have produced a plan with 3 chops, all within UCC within 1% deviation.  If an alternative within 0.5% deviation balloons the number of chops and ignores UCC, then the greater equality serves no legitimate or rational purpose.

And if a 2% range is ok, then someone else will propose a plan with fewer chops or less erosity and a 5% range and claim its ok by the same logic. But at some point variances cease to be minor. I don't know where that point is but it is presumably somewhere between 0.8% and 9.6% based on the facts in Tennant. As an adviser I would leave that decision to the commission.
Even more reason to put emphasis on the standard deviation or mean absolute deviation.

It may be worthwhile for the commission to consider the zero chop plans, rather than a priori setting a hard deviation limit.
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muon2
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« Reply #144 on: December 08, 2014, 02:03:28 pm »

There is no area in Virginia that satisfies the first prong of the Gingles test.

I can construct a >50% BVAP CD that includes none of Richmond or Petersburg and is all whole counties/cities (Brunswick to Surry to Suffolk) plus the black areas of the independent cities of the Hampton Roads. It is compact by almost any standard geographic measure, since the erosity is confined to those relatively small areas in the Hampton Roads. The fact that it links rural and urban areas would not cause it to fail Gingles 1.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #145 on: December 08, 2014, 04:54:58 pm »

There is no area in Virginia that satisfies the first prong of the Gingles test.

I can construct a >50% BVAP CD that includes none of Richmond or Petersburg and is all whole counties/cities (Brunswick to Surry to Suffolk) plus the black areas of the independent cities of the Hampton Roads. It is compact by almost any standard geographic measure, since the erosity is confined to those relatively small areas in the Hampton Roads. The fact that it links rural and urban areas would not cause it to fail Gingles 1.

Brunswick is at least as far from Hampton Roads as Richmond.   I assume you crack Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.   Do you exclude Isle of Wight?

You have violated traditional redistricting concepts such as integrity of political subdivisions, and unnecessary agglomeration of rural and urbam areas makes it conceptually non-compact.  Your proposed district is no better than the district turned down in Lulac v Perry
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« Reply #146 on: December 08, 2014, 08:43:32 pm »

There is no area in Virginia that satisfies the first prong of the Gingles test.

I can construct a >50% BVAP CD that includes none of Richmond or Petersburg and is all whole counties/cities (Brunswick to Surry to Suffolk) plus the black areas of the independent cities of the Hampton Roads. It is compact by almost any standard geographic measure, since the erosity is confined to those relatively small areas in the Hampton Roads. The fact that it links rural and urban areas would not cause it to fail Gingles 1.

Brunswick is at least as far from Hampton Roads as Richmond.   I assume you crack Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.   Do you exclude Isle of Wight?

You have violated traditional redistricting concepts such as integrity of political subdivisions, and unnecessary agglomeration of rural and urbam areas makes it conceptually non-compact.  Your proposed district is no better than the district turned down in Lulac v Perry

I do not exclude Isle of Wight, and as much as we might like it to be otherwise, the VRA does not care if political subdivisions are chopped in order to comply. There is nothing in Gingles to suggest that conceptual compactness has any bearing on prong 1.

LULAC is not applicable here. The question here is not whether the district meets section 2, but whether one is required by section 2. In LULAC there was already a determination that TX needed such a district and SCOTUS found that District 23 had been redrawn in such a way as to deny Latino voters as a group the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice. District 25 was found to be a non-compact replacement, but District 23 as finally drawn after LULAC is a clear linkage of urban and rural areas with much greater separation than the VA district I suggest would meet section 2.
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« Reply #147 on: December 09, 2014, 11:38:06 am »

While I wait for votes on Item 8. Here's another map showing neighborhood areas for a couple of larger independent cities that might be chopped in some plans. The areas are approximated by the voting districts in DRA. Hampton districts are based on neighborhood districts recognized by the City of Hampton. Newport News districts are based on real estate market areas from the MLS.

Img


Hampton Areas

District 1; pop 22,377; BVAP 41.8%
District 2; pop 10,487; BVAP 46.6%
District 3; pop 12,770; BVAP 44.8%
District 4; pop 13,580; BVAP 29.2%
District 5; pop 11,864; BVAP 17.0%
District 6; pop 12,846; BVAP 37.3%
District 7; pop 12,833; BVAP 59.3%
District 8; pop 17,116; BVAP 58.8%
District 9; pop 11,748; BVAP 69.6%
District 10; pop 11,815; BVAP 71.2%


Newport News Areas

Denbigh North (11); pop 52,397; BVAP 37.2%
Denbigh South (12); pop 32,093; BVAP 30.2%
Midtown West (13); pop 26,531; BVAP 14.1%
Midtown East (14); pop 36,973; BVAP 30.1%
South (15); pop 32,725; BVAP 75.2%
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« Reply #148 on: December 13, 2014, 04:04:40 pm »

Proposed combinations of counties and independent cities.

While independent cities in Virginia are treated as county equivalents by the Census Bureau, they really don't represent separate communities of interest, and in some cases are not totally legally separate, with some sharing county offices with their surrounding counties.  The Bureau of Economic Affairs only treats independent cities as a separate entity if they have a population over 100,000, or have absorbed all of their former county.  To some extent in Virginia, "independent city" and "city" are almost synonymous.  The largest towns that are not independent cities are Leesburg and Blacksburg, both with less than 50,000 persons.

Treating independent cities as counties for redistricting purposes causes problems for erosity and chop measurements because of their typical small size.

Hampton, Newport News, and Virginia Beach qualify under both the population criteria and having absorbed their orignal county.  Chesapeake does in a certain sense, since it has 222,000 persons, and since it was created by the merger of the independent city of South Norfolk and remainder of Norfolk County, not in Norfolk or Portsmouth.   Suffolk city qualifies based on its annexation of Nansemond city, which itself was created from the remnant of Nansemond County not in Suffolk city.

The only large independent cities that have not absorbed all of their original counties are Richmond, Roanoke, and Alexandria.  This leaves Henrico, Roanoke, and Arlington counties as the only remainders of counties from which the larger cities have separated.  Roanoke County also includes the smaller independent city of Salem.   The District of Columbia originally had two counties, Washington (the portion ceded by Maryland) and Alexandria (the portion ceded by Virginia) and three municipalities, Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington.  When the area south of the Potomac was retroceded to Virginia, it became Alexandria County, Virginia.  The portion not within Alexandria city was renamed to Arlington County in 1920.

The Bureau of Economic Affairs combines Colonial Heights with Dinwiddie County and Petersburg city.  This is problematic since Colonial Heights is barely contiguous with Petersburg, and was created from Chesterfield County.  Placing it with Dinwiddie County would give greater importance to economics than political history, and would call in to question the whole concept of using political subdivisions as representing communities of interest.  So in the following tables, I have placed Colonial Heights with Chesterfield County.

Most independent cities were created from a single county, though some have annexed areas in adjacent counties.   Galax city is the exception, having been created from almost equal population from Carroll and Grayson counties.  The Census Bureau and BEA both place Galax with Carroll County.

Independent Cities that are combined with original counties, or are treated as counties for chop and erosity analysis.

Albemarle + Charlottesville
Alexandria  (IC)
Alleghany + Covington
Augusta, Staunton + Waynesboro
Bedford + Bedford city (as of 2013, Bedford is no longer an independent city).
Campbell + Lynchburg
Carroll + Galax
Chesapeake (IC)
Chesterfield + Colonial Heights
Dinwiddie + Petersburg
Fairfax, Fairfax City + Falls Church
Frederick + Winchester
Greensville + Emporia
Hampton (IC)
Henry + Martinsville
James City county + Williamsburg
Montgomery + Radford
Newport News (IC)
Norfolk (IC)
Pittsylvania + Danville
Portsmouth (IC)
Prince George + Hopewell
Prince William, Manassas + Manassas Park
Richmond (IC)
Roanoke (IC) (Roanoke city is separate from Roanoke County because of its population)
Roanoke + Salem (but Roanoke County includes Salem (IC)).
Rockbridge, Buena Vista + Lexington
Rockingham + Harrisonburg
Southampton + Franklin
Spotsylvania + Fredericksburg
Suffolk (IC)
Virginia Beach (IC)
Washington + Bristol
Wise + Norton
York + Poquoson

Counties with no associated independent cities for measurement of chop and erosity.

Accomack
Amelia
Amherst
Appomattox
Arlington
Bath
Bland
Botetourt
Brunswick
Buchanan
Buckingham
Caroline
Charles City county
Charlotte
Clarke
Craig
Culpeper
Cumberland
Dickenson
Essex
Fauquier
Floyd
Fluvanna
Franklin
Giles
Gloucester
Goochland
Grayson
Greene
Halifax
Hanover
Henrico
Highland
Isle of Wight
King George
King William
King and Queen
Lancaster
Lee
Loudoun
Louisa
Lunenburg
Madison
Mathews
Mecklenburg
Middlesex
Nelson
New Kent
Northampton
Northumberland
Nottoway
Orange
Patrick
Powhatan
Prince Edward
Pulaski
Rappahannock
Richmond county
Russell
Scott
Shenandoah
Smyth
Stafford
Surry
Sussex
Tazewell
Warren
Westmoreland
Wythe
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« Reply #149 on: December 13, 2014, 05:06:01 pm »

Proposed combinations of counties and independent cities.

While independent cities in Virginia are treated as county equivalents by the Census Bureau, they really don't represent separate communities of interest, and in some cases are not totally legally separate, with some sharing county offices with their surrounding counties.  The Bureau of Economic Affairs only treats independent cities as a separate entity if they have a population over 100,000, or have absorbed all of their former county.  To some extent in Virginia, "independent city" and "city" are almost synonymous.  The largest towns that are not independent cities are Leesburg and Blacksburg, both with less than 50,000 persons.

Treating independent cities as counties for redistricting purposes causes problems for erosity and chop measurements because of their typical small size.

Hampton, Newport News, and Virginia Beach qualify under both the population criteria and having absorbed their orignal county.  Chesapeake does in a certain sense, since it has 222,000 persons, and since it was created by the merger of the independent city of South Norfolk and remainder of Norfolk County, not in Norfolk or Portsmouth.   Suffolk city qualifies based on its annexation of Nansemond city, which itself was created from the remnant of Nansemond County not in Suffolk city.

The only large independent cities that have not absorbed all of their original counties are Richmond, Roanoke, and Alexandria.  This leaves Henrico, Roanoke, and Arlington counties as the only remainders of counties from which the larger cities have separated.  Roanoke County also includes the smaller independent city of Salem.   The District of Columbia originally had two counties, Washington (the portion ceded by Maryland) and Alexandria (the portion ceded by Virginia) and three municipalities, Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington.  When the area south of the Potomac was retroceded to Virginia, it became Alexandria County, Virginia.  The portion not within Alexandria city was renamed to Arlington County in 1920.

The Bureau of Economic Affairs combines Colonial Heights with Dinwiddie County and Petersburg city.  This is problematic since Colonial Heights is barely contiguous with Petersburg, and was created from Chesterfield County.  Placing it with Dinwiddie County would give greater importance to economics than political history, and would call in to question the whole concept of using political subdivisions as representing communities of interest.  So in the following tables, I have placed Colonial Heights with Chesterfield County.

Most independent cities were created from a single county, though some have annexed areas in adjacent counties.   Galax city is the exception, having been created from almost equal population from Carroll and Grayson counties.  The Census Bureau and BEA both place Galax with Carroll County.

Independent Cities that are combined with original counties, or are treated as counties for chop and erosity analysis.

Albemarle + Charlottesville
Alexandria  (IC)
Alleghany + Covington
Augusta, Staunton + Waynesboro
Bedford + Bedford city (as of 2013, Bedford is no longer an independent city).
Campbell + Lynchburg
Carroll + Galax
Chesapeake (IC)
Chesterfield + Colonial Heights
Dinwiddie + Petersburg
Fairfax, Fairfax City + Falls Church
Frederick + Winchester
Greensville + Emporia
Hampton (IC)
Henry + Martinsville
James City county + Williamsburg
Montgomery + Radford
Newport News (IC)
Norfolk (IC)
Pittsylvania + Danville
Portsmouth (IC)
Prince George + Hopewell
Prince William, Manassas + Manassas Park
Richmond (IC)
Roanoke (IC) (Roanoke city is separate from Roanoke County because of its population)
Roanoke + Salem (but Roanoke County includes Salem (IC)).
Rockbridge, Buena Vista + Lexington
Rockingham + Harrisonburg
Southampton + Franklin
Spotsylvania + Fredericksburg
Suffolk (IC)
Virginia Beach (IC)
Washington + Bristol
Wise + Norton
York + Poquoson

Counties with no associated independent cities for measurement of chop and erosity.

Accomack
Amelia
Amherst
Appomattox
Arlington
Bath
Bland
Botetourt
Brunswick
Buchanan
Buckingham
Caroline
Charles City county
Charlotte
Clarke
Craig
Culpeper
Cumberland
Dickenson
Essex
Fauquier
Floyd
Fluvanna
Franklin
Giles
Gloucester
Goochland
Grayson
Greene
Halifax
Hanover
Henrico
Highland
Isle of Wight
King George
King William
King and Queen
Lancaster
Lee
Loudoun
Louisa
Lunenburg
Madison
Mathews
Mecklenburg
Middlesex
Nelson
New Kent
Northampton
Northumberland
Nottoway
Orange
Patrick
Powhatan
Prince Edward
Pulaski
Rappahannock
Richmond county
Russell
Scott
Shenandoah
Smyth
Stafford
Surry
Sussex
Tazewell
Warren
Westmoreland
Wythe


Since there hasn't been much discussion on this point, and only one alternate vote, this seems like a potential amendment to Item 8 before the commission. The originally proposed Item 8 is

Item 8. The primary units of redistricting in VA are the counties and independent cities. Independent cities are treated as equal to counties for redistricting, and are understood to be included when scoring describes counties. Secondary units in redistricting may include larger communities of interest made up of groups of whole counties and smaller communities of interest that wholly divide a county as adopted by the commission.

An amended version to consider is
Item 8A. The primary units of redistricting in VA are the counties. Independent cities are treated as equal to counties for redistricting when the independent cities have populations in excess of 100,000 or have absorbed all of their former county. These qualified independent cities are understood to be included when scoring describes counties. Other independent cities are considered to be part of the county that they are assigned to by the Bureau of Economic Affairs. Secondary units in redistricting may include larger communities of interest made up of groups of whole counties and smaller communities of interest that wholly divide a county as adopted by the commission.

I avoided creating a special exception for Colonial Heights. There are a number of states that have discontiguous counties and municipalities, and I'm not troubled by creating one here in the interest of uniform rules. Of course the commission is free to vote on either Item 8, 8A, or 8A with the Colonial Heights exception.
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