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Author Topic: Texas 2020 House Apportioment  (Read 2012 times)
jimrtex
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« on: January 17, 2019, 03:13:48 am »

Texas is projected to grow at 18% for the decade, which means House districts will increase from 169,000 to 199,000. This is based on 2017 mid-year estimates projected to April 2020.

The Texas Constitution requires that county lines be respected when apportioning representatives, in a way consistent with a OMOV requirement of a maximum 5% relative deviation.

The first step in an apportionment is to calculate the number of representatives that are apportioned to each county, and to identify which counties are entitled to one or more representatives. The remaining smaller counties will be gathered into single member districts.

Seven counties can be apportioned a whole number of representatives, and be within the 5% deviation limits:

Harris (25, -1.12%)
Dallas (14, -1.67%)
Tarrant (11, -0.85%)
Bexar (10, +4.24%)
Montgomery (3, +4.90%)
Williamson (3, +1.90%)
Brazoria (2, -3.06%)

This is a gain of one representative for Harris, reversing the loss of a seat in 2010. Dallas, Tarrant, and Bexar are unchanged. In 2010, Montgomery and Williamson had two districts within the county, with a third including other counties. Brazoria had one district within the county, and another including other counties. The inter-county districts will be consolidated within these three counties, and the populations of the districts balanced.

The deviation in Montgomery will mean that the population of the three districts will have to quite tightly controlled, with the largest no more than 200 above the county average. This will also be true to some extent in Bexar, where the largest distirict may only be 1500 above the average.

Overall the seven counties are apportioned 68 representatives, and are entitled collectively to 67.958 representatives a deviation of -0.06%

There are 16 counties that have a population equivalent to more than one representative, but can't be wholly self-contained and comply with the 5% deviation limits. Therefore a whole number of districts will be drawn in the county, and an area containing the surplus will be attached to other counties.

Travis (6 + .647) In 2010, Travis had 6 districts.
Collin (5 + .323) In 2010, Collin had 4 districts plus a share of a fifth.
Denton (4 + .622) In 2010, Denton had 4 districts.
Hidalgo (4 + .532) In 2010, Hidalgo shared a district with Cameron.
El Paso (4 + .332) In 2010, El Paso had 5 undersized districts.
Fort Bend (4 + .286) In 2010, Fort Bend had 3 districts plus a share of a fourth.
Cameron (2 + .179) In 2010, Cameron shared a district with Hidalgo.
Nueces (1 + .870) In 2010, Nueces had two districts.
Bell (1 + .838) Same status as 2010.
Lubbock (1 + .598) Same status as 2010.
Webb (1 + .442) Same status as 2010.
Jefferson (1 + .305) Same status as 2010.
McLennan (1 +.304) Same status as 2010.
Hays (1 + .221) In 2010 in district with Blanco.
Smith (1 + .189) Same status as 2010.
Brazos (1 + .186) Same status as 2010.

The 16 counties is an increase of two since 2010, due to the addition of Hays, and a net gain of one county with a surplus (Travis, Denton, El Paso, Nueces, minus Williamson, Mongomery, Brazoria).

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Areas around major metropolitan areas often are the most constrained. If a county has more than half a quota, it will have to be attached to smaller counties, and there may be only one choice.

Dallas(14) and Tarrant(11) will be self-contained. I paired Collin (5+) and Denton (4+). This has been a fairly common combination the past few cycles. An argument could be made that it is mandatory. since the cross-county-line district is a violation of the Texas Constitution. It is considered the least worst violation to be used only to comply with a maximum 5% deviation under OMOV.

Then Grayson-Cooke-Montague; Rockwall-Hunt; and Kaufman-Van Zandt-Rains are forced.

Ellis is slightly below 95% of the quota. Any neighbor will take it above 105%. Currently it has a slice of Henderson attached to it. Typically, one such exception to the Texas Constitution has been required in order to comply with OMOV.

My approach will be to combine Ellis, Johnson, and Hill in an area of approximately two representatives. Johnson willbe split, with an eastern sliver attached to Ellis. The remainder of Johnson will be combined with Hill. This will create two districts in the southern DFW area.

Finally, Parker and Hood will combined. They are very close to a quota, and keeps the district close to Fort Worth.

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Houston (25), Montgomery(3), and Braxoria(2) can be self contained. In 2010, Harris was entitled to 24.4 representatives, and was rounded down to 24. It is now entitled to 24.7 and is rounded up to 25. In 2010, Montgomery and Brazoria shared their 3rd and 2nd districts, respectively with smaller neighbors. These districts will shift into the county. Galveston is forced to be combined with Chambers, the same configuration it is currently in.

In 2010, Fort Bend was entitled to 3.5 districts, and dominated its 4th district. In 2020, the county will be entitled to about 4.25 representatives. Four districts will be drawn in the suburban  areas along the Harris County line, while the still rural areas south (or west) of the Brazos River will be joined with smaller counties to the west.

The general strategy along the I-35 spine is to keep districts close to I-35 so that they are of more uniform character, and to preserve as much population as possible for inclusion in east and west Texas districts. The area can also be used to help balance the population between east and west Texas so that they have population equivalent to a whole number of districts.

McLennan is entitled to 1.3 districts and can not be combined with Bell. The small surplus can be combined with several counties to the east or west with a total population of about 140,000. This gives a great deal of flexibility, and so one district can be concentrated in Waco, with the surplus used as a wild card to the east and or west to balance population.

Bell is entitled to 1.84 districts, and can not be combined with its larger neighbors to the south or north. Currently, Bell is paired with Lampasas, which has a somewhat tenuous connection, but has a community of interest around Fort Hood. But this also requires splitting Killeen, or drawing a bizarre district that loops around from Temple to Lampasas. Placing Bell and Milam in the same district, will permit drawing one district around Killeen, and placing Temple in the district with Milam.

Williamson is entitled to three whole districts. Currently, the 3rd district is shared with Burnet and Milam, but will be pulled entirely into the county.

Travis in 2010 had six districts. In 2020, it will be entitled to 6.647. If it reaches 6.650, it could have seven districts and be within the permitted deviation range. This is only a difference of around 600 people, for a county projected to gain nearly 300,000 persons.

But for now we will assume that Travis will have a surplus population. In 2010, Hays, just missed out on having a district by itself. By 2020 it will have a surplus of about 0.221 districts. It will fit almost perfectly with Comal to the south, with the Comal district taking the San Marcos area, and a whole district in Hays County in the Austin suburbs around Buda.

But applying a rule that the number of districts that include surplus parts of large counties, six districts will be created in Travis, one in Hays, and an 8th district including the surpluses from Travis and Hays, along with Blanco to reach the quota.

This forces Comal to be combined with Kendall, and Guadalupe to be combined with Gonzales.

Bexar is entitled to 10.424 districts, which is rounded down to 10 whole districts.

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« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 11:20:26 am by jimrtex »Logged
muon2
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 06:51:59 am »

What does TX typically do with large counties? For example Harris could be divided into 25 HDs with an average of 98.9% of the quota. If Harris and Fort Bend are grouped together they make almost exactly 29 HDs. That grouping makes it a lot easier to avoid a lot of overpopulated HDs and Fort Bend has to be joined with at least some other county. Would Harris be joined in that case?
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 01:46:48 pm »

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Is this a sensible arrangement?
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jimrtex
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 10:28:11 pm »

What does TX typically do with large counties? For example Harris could be divided into 25 HDs with an average of 98.9% of the quota. If Harris and Fort Bend are grouped together they make almost exactly 29 HDs. That grouping makes it a lot easier to avoid a lot of overpopulated HDs and Fort Bend has to be joined with at least some other county. Would Harris be joined in that case?

Quote from: Texas Constitution Article 3, Section 26
Sec. 26.  APPORTIONMENT OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.  The members of the House of Representatives shall be apportioned among the several counties, according to the number of population in each, as nearly as may be, on a ratio obtained by dividing the population of the State, as ascertained by the most recent United States census, by the number of members of which the House is composed; provided, that whenever a single county has sufficient population to be entitled to a Representative, such county shall be formed into a separate Representative District, and when two or more counties are required to make up the ratio of representation, such counties shall be contiguous to each other; and when any one county has more than sufficient population to be entitled to one or more Representatives, such Representative or Representatives shall be apportioned to such county, and for any surplus of population it may be joined in a Representative District with any other contiguous county or counties.

Strictly speaking, Texas has an apportionment law. Use of single member districts for election is considered to be a manner regulation, and required under the 14th amendment, 15th amendment, VRA and court cases.

The size of the House is fixed at 150, and the ratio (or quota) is 197,613.

There are three types of districts:

(1) Single (larger) counties entitled to one or more representatives. Such counties also have a surplus population.

(2) Two or more (smaller) contiguous counties that are entitled to one representative (make up the ratio of representation).

(3) Two or more contiguous counties that including the surplus of one or more larger counties to make up the ration of population.

All districts are whole counties. Districts of type three (floterial or flotorial) overlay districts of Type 1 and Type 2,

Type 3 districts are fine for apportionment purposes, but not for electoral purposes. For example according to the constitution, Harris could have 24 representatives; Fort Bend could have 4 representatives; and Harris+Fort Bend counties together would elect one representative.

The representatives could be elected by place or district or even proportional representation - the constitution is silent. But there is only one way to elect a single member (FPTP or FPTP with runoff).

If Harris has 6/7 of the votes, then effectively Harris has 24-6/7 representatives and Fort Bend has 4-1/7 representatives. Floterial districts of this type violate OMOV.

Following 'Reynolds v Sims', another provision of the constitution that limited representation of the largest counties was overturned (this provision has since been repealed).

And then the floterial districts were found to be unconstitutional. This required the third redistricting of the 60s, and so they pretty much just patched up the existing map. In some cases they detached a portion of a larger county that contained a population equal to the surplus and attached it to neighboring counties. A portion of Tarrant around the northern, western, and southern fringes was attached to Parker. The remainder of the county was apportioned 9 representatives. In other cases, they combined the counties in a multi-representative district. For example, Travis had three representative, and was in a floterial district with Burnet. Travis and Burnet were combined in a four-representative district.

After the 1970 Census, the legislature tended to ignore the constitution and started cutting up smaller counties, in one case drawing a line down the street in front of Tom Craddick's house. Craddick was one of a handful of Republicans at the time. He sued, in 'Craddick v Smith' and won. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Texas Constitution could be harmonized with equal protection. Craddick is still in the House of Representatives having just been elected to his 26th term.

The Supreme Court in essence devised two new types districts.

1A) An area within a single county that is apportioned the maximum number of whole representatives for the county.

3A) Two or more contiguous counties that include an area containing the surplus of one or more larger counties to make up the ratio of population.

While these violate the Texas Constitution, they do so in a way that minimizes the contradiction with the apportionment principles of the constitution. They can only be used if necessary to comply with OMOV (the 5% deviation limit is an observation by the SCOTUS of what they had approved in a case concerning the Texas House).

Typically, it is necessary to split an additional small county to comply with OMOV.

Subsequent to this division, there was a ruling that single-member districts must be used in all counties with a significant minority population. After examining each such county, it was determined that all but Hidalgo must be divided. Since then, all districts have been single-member. But this is considered to be a manner of election. Even before the ruling, Harris had been divided into several multi-member districts.

So first apportionment is done, and then districting within larger counties.

Since, your proposed division of Harris County is not necessary to comply with OMOV it will not be used. The legal advice given to the legislature is that counties entitled to 10 or more representatives can always have wholly contained districts.

The legislature might ignore "as near as may be" in the Texas Constitution, somehow concluding that the Texas constitution is not about equalizing apportionment of representatives based on population.

So the seven counties that I noted as being able to be within 5% with districts wholly within the county will be drawn way.




« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 12:28:34 am by jimrtex »Logged
jimrtex
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 01:31:51 am »

Img

Is this a sensible arrangement?
Montgomery and Brazoria will be self-contained. The area north of Montgomery (Walker, etc. will have to with 95% to 105% by its self - you can't balance with the surplus from Montgomery. This will also force Galveston to be paired with Chambers, as it is now.

Collins and Denton will likely be paired, particularly since Rockwall and Hunt can be paired. Rockwall is usually a problem. Because of its small size but relatively high density it has an intermediate population. You can't pair two counties that have more than a half, but less than a whole quota. Placing Collins and Denton together is consistent with past practice, and frees up more small counties. The only reason it would not be used is if there is not a feasible district for Grayson. But Grayson-Cooke-Montague works at least on a localized matter. The Kaufman district becomes necessary, and the Parker-Hood works well.

Ellis is a problem since it is less than 95% of the quota, but has no neighbors to pair with. In 2010, Henderson was divided, which made an ugly district. I like your grouping of Ellis-Johnson-Hill, which could create Ellis-sliver of Johnson; and remnant of Johnson+Hill.

There should be a balance between east and west Texas so that they can have roughly the same size population. You don't want all oversized or all undersized districts in West Texas if you can avoid it. It may end up that the configuration of the McLennan district.

Guadalupe-Gonzales may be necessary, and Bexar will be treated separately.
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 10:34:04 pm »

This is an initial pass at dividing the state into areas entitled to a whole number of representatives.
All the regions except the large East and West regions could have districts drawn in them subject to tweaking.

The East and West regions will each have 14 representatives. Placement of McLennan, Falls, and Limestone in the west was to balance the population. One whole district will be drawn in McLennan, likely centered on Waco, with another district flowing around to both the east and west.

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Single representative districts (largest county):

Grayson
Rockwall
Kaufman
Parker
Comal
Guadalupe
San Patricio
Victoria
Maverick

Single-County mulitple representative:

Dallas(14)
Tarrant(11)
Williamson(3)
Bexar(10)
Montgomery(3)
Harris(25)
Brazoria(2)

Multi-county with two counties with whole districts and a shared extra district:

Collin(5+), Denton(4+)
Travis(6+),Hays(1+), plus Blanco.
Hidalgo(4+),Cemaron(2+), plus Willacy, Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg

Multi-county with one county with whole district and a district including smaller counties.

Bell(1+) plus Milam
Galveston(1+) plus Chambers
Fort Bend(4+) plus Wharton, Matagorda, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca
Nueces(1+) plus Aransas
Webb(1+) plus Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr
El Paso(4+) plus 14 other counties.

Special case, requires split of smaller county (2 representatives).

Ellis, Johnson, Hill

The West Region will have 14 districts. 11 will be anchored by a county with more than half a quota: Potter, Randall, Lubbock(1+), Ector, Midland, Tom Green, Taylor, Wichita, McLennan(1+). This leaves 3 districts wholly made up of smaller counties. Two will be in the eastern part of the district, leaving only one truly rural district.

The East Region will have 14 districts. 6 will be anchored by a county with more than a quota: Smith, Jefferson, and Brazos. The surplus of these counties is relatively small, so they could be considered to have a small part of the county outside Tyler, Beaumont-Port Arthur, or Bryan-College Station attached to other counties.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2019, 08:20:08 am »

Hera are the West Texas Districts. The El Paso and Maverick districts were tweaked a bit for better population equality.

Img


Single representative districts (largest county):

Grayson
Rockwall
Kaufman
Parker
Comal
Guadalupe
San Patricio
Victoria
Maverick
Potter
Randall
Howard (26 counties)
Ector
Midland
Tom Green
Taylor
Wichita
Wise
Kerr

Single-County mulitple representative:

Dallas(14)
Tarrant(11)
Williamson(3)
Bexar(10)
Montgomery(3)
Harris(25)
Brazoria(2)

Multi-county with two counties with whole districts and a shared extra district:

Collin(5+), Denton(4+)
Travis(6+),Hays(1+), plus Blanco.
Hidalgo(4+),Cemaron(2+), plus Willacy, Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg

Multi-county with one county with whole district and a district including smaller counties.

Bell(1+) plus Milam
Galveston(1+) plus Chambers
Fort Bend(4+) plus Wharton, Matagorda, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca
Nueces(1+) plus Aransas
Webb(1+) plus Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr
El Paso(4+) plus 14 other counties
Lubbock(1+) plus 5 other counties.
McLennan(1+)

Special case, requires split of smaller county (2 representatives).

Ellis, Johnson, Hill

The East Region will have 14 districts. 6 will be anchored by a county with more than a quota: Smith, Jefferson, and Brazos. The surplus of these counties is relatively small, so they could be considered to have a small part of the county outside Tyler, Beaumont-Port Arthur, or Bryan-College Station attached to other counties.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2019, 09:32:16 pm »

Here are the regions for east Texas. My original version had a couple of districts too large. I blew up the map and it was even worse.

So I adjusted the McLennan district eastward, with some balancing tweaks to 5 districts in west Texas. I also moved Colorado into the Fort Bend district. These changes permitted the Henderson, Walker, Brazos, and Bastrop districts to work, along with the seven unchanged districts along the eastern edge of the state: Lamar, Bowie, Smith, Gregg, Angelina, Jefferson, and Liberty.

Img


Single representative districts (largest county):

Grayson
Rockwall
Kaufman
Parker
Comal
Guadalupe
San Patricio
Victoria
Maverick
Potter
Randall
Howard (26 counties)
Ector
Midland
Tom Green
Taylor
Wichita
Wise
Kerr
Lamar
Bowie
Gregg
Angelina
Liberty
Walker
Henderson
Bastrop

Single-County mulitple representative:

Dallas(14)
Tarrant(11)
Williamson(3)
Bexar(10)
Montgomery(3)
Harris(25)
Brazoria(2)

Multi-county with two counties with whole districts and a shared extra district:

Collin(5+), Denton(4+)
Travis(6+),Hays(1+), plus Blanco.
Hidalgo(4+),Cemaron(2+), plus Willacy, Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg

Multi-county with one county with whole district and a district including smaller counties.

Bell(1+) plus Milam
Galveston(1+) plus Chambers
Fort Bend(4+) plus Wharton, Matagorda, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca
Nueces(1+) plus Aransas
Webb(1+) plus Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Starr
El Paso(4+) plus 14 other counties
Lubbock(1+) plus 5 other counties.
McLennan(1+) plus 5 other counties.
Smith(1+)plus 4 other counties.
Jefferson(1+)plus 3 other counties.
Brazos(1+)plus 5 other counties.

Special case, requires split of smaller county (2 representatives).

Ellis, Johnson, Hill
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 12:01:46 pm »

Districts 1 through 9 are in the northeast. I have adopted a numbering scheme that is similar to the current scheme but does a complete renumbering. In previous reapportionment, when a district is eliminated in one area of the state it is moved to a different area of the state.

For example, Williamson County has three districts: HD-20 is a district captured from East Texas that took a bit of Williamson, and then more, and now is dominated by the county; HD-52 is native to the area; and HD-136 used to be in Harris County. When doing a VRA Section 5 analysis the courts would literally compare districts based on numbers.

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HD-1 (+1.89% relative deviation), -0.169 (change in 2020 district from 2010); Bowie(47%), Harrison(33%), Cass(15%), Marion(5%). Cities: Texarkana, Marshall and Atlanta.

HD-2 (-1.45%), -0.165 change, Lamar(25%), Hopkins(19%), Fannin(18%), Titus(17%), Morris(6%), Red River(6%), Franklin(6%), Delta(3%). Cities: Paris, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, and Bonham.

HD-3 (+2.15), +0.040 change, Rockwall(52%), Hunt(48%). Cities: Rockwall and Greenville.

HD-4 (+0.97%), +0.014 change, Kaufman(66%), Van Zandt(28%), Rains(6%). Cities: Terrell, Forney, and Canton.

HD-5 (-4.59%), -0.148 change, Henderson(44%), Anderson(30%), Navarro(26%). Cities: Corsicana, Palestine, and Athens.

HD-5 has the largest negative deviation of any district. Adding Freestone to make a compact 4-county district would result in a positive deviation greater than 5%.

HD-6(-1.81), -0.149 change (for HD-6 and HD-7), Smith(100%, 83% of county). City: Tyler.

The division of the county is based on the 2017 5-year ACS for block groups. The survey covers 2013-2017 so it is an average over the 5-year period, assuming steady growth. No attempt was made to project this forward. Based on the 2020 projection for whole counties, it was estimated that this district would include 83% of the 2020 county population. Instead, it includes 83% of the 2015 population. Assuming a larger increase in the Tyler area, the district will likely contract slightly.

As the district wholly in Smith County, with 83% of the population, it must be based on the city of Tyler - or split the city. The district is based largely on the current (2010) district, with an expansion to the north to include Lindale, and the exclusion of Whitehouse in the south. This provides a corridor for HD-7 connecting Wood and Upshur with Cherokee.

HD-7 (-1.81%) Cherokee(27%), Wood(23%), Upshur(22%), Smith(21%, 17% of county), Camp(7%). Cities: Jacksonville, Whitehouse, and Gilmer.

HD-8 (+1.04%) -0.176 change. Gregg(62%), Rusk(26%), Panola(12%). Cities Longview, Kilgore, and Henderson.
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 09:17:22 am »

Districts 10 through 20 are in the southeast wrapping around Harris County, which will continue to have the highest numbered districts.

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HD-9 (+0.24% relative deviation), -0.169 (change in 2020 district from 2010); Angelina(45%), Nacogdoches(33%), Shelby(13%), Sabine(5%), San Augustine(4%). Cities, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and Center.

HD-10 (-1.87%), -0.105 change; Walker(38%), Polk(26%), Houston(12%), Leon(9%), Trinity(8%),
Madison(7%). Cities: Huntsville, West Livingston CDP, and Crockett.

HD-11 (+1.51%), -0.019 change (for HD-11 and HD-12) Waller(27%), Washington(18%), Brazos(17%, 15% of county), Austin(15%), Grimes(14%), Robertson(9%). Cities: Brenham, Sealy, and Navasota.

HD-12 (+1.51%), Brazos(100%, 85% of county). Cites: College Station and Bryan.

Growth in Brazos (associated with TAMU) and Waller (ex/sub-urban Houston) keep the overall population close to the statewide growth rate. The existing district based on Bryan-College Station is maintained with slight expansion to maintain population equality.

HD-13 (+4.90%), +0.428 change (for HD-13, HD-14, and HD-15), Montgomery(100%, 33% of county). Cities: Conroe and Willis.

HD-14 (+4.90%), Montgomery(100%, 33% of county). Cities: New Caney, Magnolia, and Montgomery.

HD-15 (+4.90%), Montgomery(100%, 33% of county). Cities: The Woodlands (CDP).

This largely maintains the current configuration of districts in Montgomery County. Currently, the the middle district also includes Waller County. Because of the growth in Montgomery, Waller can be shed, and all three districts can be (barely) contained in Montgomery County.

Montgomery is projected to grow from 456K to 622K in 2020, and three representatives are apportioned based on that growth. But the internal demarcation of three districts is based on the 2013-2017 ACS, or roughly 2015, with a population of 535K, consistent with it being a mid-decade estimate.

HD-15 is the southern district based on The Woodlands, and by 2015, was already 15% overpopulation. It should have a similar additional excess by 2020, which would be shed to HD-14, the central district. The areas to be removed would be largely east of I-45.

HD-14 is the middle district, and in 2010 included Waller County, which represented about 1/4 of the district. Thus, HD-14 started the decade with around 75% of the population needed for a district. It did make up some ground, but needed to take in the excess from HD-15 and bit more from HD-13.

HD-15 includes Conroe and areas in the northern and eastern areas of the county.

By 2020, it might be possible to have district in the eastern part of the county, but extending into the Willis area in the north, and between The Woodlands and Conroe. The other district would then include Conroe and areas to the west including Magnolia and Montgomery.

HD-16 (-1.06%) -0.075 change. Liberty(44%), Hardin(30%), San Jacinto(15%), Tyler(11%). Cities: Lumberton, Liberty, and Woodville.

HD-17 (-0.46%) -0.301 change (for HD-17 and HD-18). Orange(44%), Jefferson(31%, 23% of county), Jasper(18%), Newton(7%). Cities: Orange, Nederland, Groves, Port Neches, and Vidor.

HD-18 (-0.46%) Jefferson(100%, 77% of county). Cities: Beaumont and Port Arthur.

Currently the two districts are contained by Jefferson and Orange. Newton and Jasper were added to make up for the minimal population growth.

Currently, one district consist of Beaumont and most of Port Arthur, connected by a narrow corridor along the Neches River. The other district consists of the Mid County area (Nederland, Port Neches, and Groves) connected by rural western and southern portions of Jefferson and Sabine Lake with Orange County, in a sort of ungainly Dao symbol, designed to keep the Yins and Yangs apart.

The Beaumont-Port Arthur district may qualify as a Section 5 VRA district, but not as a Section 2 district. The district is not compact (Beaumont and Port Arthur are 20 miles apart and in separate urbanized areas., and as the district has expanded, the black share of the population has declined.

The new configuration contains all of Port Arthur, and connects to Beaumont through the rural western and southern parts of the county. The Mid County area is attached to the other three counties. It does a good job of respecting city boundaries, and maintains the current configuration.

HD-19 (+0.56%) +0.56% 0.064 change (HD-19 and HD-20). Galveston(78%, 44% of county), Chambers(22%). Cities: Galveston, Texas City, and La Marque.

HD-20 (+0.56%) +0.56%. Galveston (100%, 56% of county). Cities: League City, Friendswood, Dickinson, and Santa Fe.

The two districts are contained in the same two counties and 2010, which have grown only slightly faster than the state as a whole. The growth is concentrated in the northern part of Galveston County - Houston suburbs, and Chambers County - sub/ex-urban Houston, with sluggish growth on the island and southern mainland. Only a minor tweak was needed to maintain population balance.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 02:33:24 am by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2019, 03:46:15 pm »

Districts 21 through 30 are on the upper Gulf coast, beginning in Brazoria and Fort Bend counties swing up to the Austin and San Antonio areas and back down to the coast.

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HD-21 (-3.06%), +0.071 change for (HD-21 and HD-22) Brazoria (100%, 50% of county) Cities: Lake Jackson, Angleton, Freeport, and Clute.

HD-22 (-3.06%). Brazoria (100%, 50% of county) Cities: Pearland and Alvin.

In 2010 , Brazoria included Matagorda for its second seat. With two districts in the county, the boundary is moved northwards to balance population. As shown, the boundary is beginning to intrude on Alvin, but that is based on 2015 population. By 2020 it might be clear of Alvin. Or if an effort is made to avoid splitting cities, it might make sense to bring the boundary north in the Manvel area, and keep it south of Alvin.

HD-23 (+1.69%) change for (H-23, -24, -25, -26, and -27) Fort Bend (100%, 24% of county). Cities: Missouri City, Houston, Fresno CDP, and Sienna CDP.

HD-24 (+1.69%) Fort Bend (100%, 24% of county). Cities: Sugar Land and Stafford.

HD-25 (+1.69%) Fort Bend (100%, 24% of county). Cities: Mission Bend CDP, Rosenberg, Pecan Grove CDP, Richmond, and Four Corners CDP.

HD-26 (+1.69%) Fort Bend (100%, 24% of county). Cities: Cinco Ranch CDP.

HD-27 (+1.69%) Fort Bend(21%, 5% of county), Wharton(21%), Matagorda(18%), Calhoun(11%), Colorado(11%), Lavaca(10%). Cities Bay City, Port Lavaca, and El Campo.

In 2010, Fort Bend was entitled to 3.487 representatives, which was recognized by three districts along the Harris County line, and about half a district that included Richmond and Rosenberg and counties to the west.

By 2020, Fort Bend will be entitled to 4.286 representatives, which will include four suburban seats and a much smaller more rural area attached to the west.

I started by contracting the southern (Missouri City) and northern (Cinco Ranch) districts, and then isolated the area west (south) of the Brazos River.  But this was more than needed for the western district. So I removed Richmond, Rosenberg, and Greatwood (which has been annexed to Sugar Land). This gave a largely still rural area.

The remainder of the area was added to the central (Sugar Land) district, giving it a population equivalent to two districts. I split this east-west. The Richmond-Rosenberg district was way short, but if the Sugar Land district was contracted largely to Sugar Land only, the remnant could be added to the Richmond-Rosenberg district. This is somewhat of a hodge-podge district, extending from Rosenberg to Mission Bend, but some of the area is served by the Richmond-Rosenberg school district (Lamar Consolidated) and is clearly neither Sugar Land or Cinco Ranch.

HD-28 (-1.55%) -0.033 change. Bastrop(46%), Caldwell(23%), Fayette(13%), Burleson(9%), and Lee(9%). Cities: Lockhart, Elgin, and Giddings.

HD-29 (-2.26%) +0.075 change. Guadalupe(89%), Gonzales(11%)..Cities: Schertz, Cibolo, and New Braunfels.

HD-30 (-0.51%) -0.074 change. Victoria(48%), Wilson(26%), DeWitt(10%), Karnes(8%), Goliad(4%), Refugio(4%). Cities: Victoria, Cuero, and Floresville.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 01:44:27 am by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 04:07:02 pm »

Districts 31 through 33, and District 43 are in the areas south of San Antonio. Districts 34 through 42 are anchored on the Rio Grande, including Cameron, Hidalgo, and Webb counties, and will be covered in the next message.

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HD-31 (+4.10%) -0.120 change. San Patricio(33%), Atascosa(25%), Jim Wells(20%), Bee(16%), Live Oak(6%), McMullen(0%). Cities: Alice, Portland, and Beeville.

HD-32 (+0.21%) -0.163 change for (HD-32 and HD-33). Nueces(87%, 46% of county), Aransas(13%). Cities: Corpus Christi and Rockport.

HD-33 (+0.21) Nueces(100%, 54% of county). Cities: Corpus Christi and Robstown.

Currently Nueces County has two districts. Relatively slow growth has required addition of Aransas. The western district had slower growth and the addition of Aransas to the eastern district increased the disparity. The two districts hooked around each other, so I combined the two hooks in HD-33, and cleaned up the boundary some.

Corpus Christi has about 80% of the two district population, and close to 80% of both districts. Placing all of one district in Corpus Christi, would still place 60% of the other district in Corpus Christi, and would be an ugly district, connecting Aransas with the rural western part of Nueces, with still about 3/8 of the city in that district.

The following districts will be described in the next message.

HD-34: Hidalgo, Cameron, and counties to the north.
HD-35 and HD-36: Cameron.
HD-37, HD-38, HD-39, and HD-40: Hidalgo.
HD-41 and HD-42: Webb and other counties.

HD-43 (-0.17%) -0.072 change. Maverick(30%), Medina(26%), Uvalde(14%), Frio(10%), Zavala(6%), Dimmit(5%), La Salle(4%), Kinney(2%), Real(2%). Cities: Eagle Pass, Uvalde, and Pearsall.
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 02:49:40 am »

Districts 34 through 40 are in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and counties northward along the coast.

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HD-34 (+0.20%) -0.400 change (for HD-34 through HD-40, 7 districts, -0.57 per district). Hidalgo(52%, 12% of county), Cameron(17%, 8% of county), Kleberg(16%), Willacy(11%), Brooks(4%), Kenedy(0%). Cities: Weslaco, Kingsville, Mercedes, and Raymondville.

HD-35 (+0.20%). Cameron(100%, 46% of county). Cities: Brownsville.

HD-36 (+0.20%). Cameron(100%, 46% of county). Cities: Harlingen and San Benito.

HD-37 (+0.20%). Hidalgo(100%, 22% of county). Cities: Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, and Donna.

HD-38 (+0.20%). Hidalgo(100%, 22% of county). Cities: Edinburg.

HD-39 (+0.20%). Hidalgo(100%, 22% of county). Cities: McAllen, Alton, and Hidalgo.

HD-40 (+0.20%). Hidalgo(100%, 22% of county). Cities: Mission and La Homa CDP.

In 2010, Hidalgo was entitled to 4.632 districts, and Cameron was entitled to 2.432 districts. Hidalgo had 4 districts wholly in the county, Cameron had 2 districts wholly in the county, and they shared a 7th district.

By 2020, Hidalgo will be entitled to 4.532 districts, and Cameron will be entitled to 2.179 districts. Thus they will need to have additional counties added to maintain the seventh district.

In 2011, the legislature had placed the surplus of the two counties in two different districts, the one for Cameron heading north, and that for Hidalgo heading west. During the early litigation, the surpluses for the two counties were joined together.  Since the surplus for Hidalgo was in the western part of tha county, a connection to Cameron County was made through the sparsely populated northern part of the county. I don't think there a road connection, and the fastest direct route went through most of the other districts. It also resulted in Harlingen being split to get enough population to be joined in a district in western Hidalgo. This in turn resulted in Brownsville being split to get enough population to compensate for the division of Harlingen.

In the 2012 Democratic Primary, Oscar Longoria from Mission in Hidalgo County defeated Guz Ruiz from Harlingen in Cameron County by a 55% to 45% margin. Longoria received 63% of the vote in his home county, while Ruiz garnered 60% of the vote in his. Longoria won because more votes were cast in Hidalgo County. This is the problem with trying to create "competitive" districts by combining disparate areas - there is no middle ground. Since that 2012 primary, Longoria has not faced an opponent in the primary or general election since then.

I initially started with Cameron, by modifying the existing districts so that one contained most of Brownsville and the other Harlingen and San Benito. This was fairly easy to do since the surplus population is reduced to about 35,000 (0.175 districts). By 2030, it is likely that no surplus will exist in Cameron, and there will only be two districts in the county. The surplus area was generally in the less populated area to the east of Harlingen and north of Brownsville. Because the surplus areas may be connected through the other counties, there is no requirement that they be adjacent.

The current districts in Hidalgo were relatively close to the ideal population, with the more southern districts underpopulated, and those further north near the quota or above it. Population growth is generally northward away from the Rio Grande. Adjustments were made to equalize population, and reduce the irregular shapes of the districts.

I then tried to reduce or eliminate splits of cities. McAllen in particular was chopped up. If McAllen is placed in its own district, then Mission, Pharr, and Edinburg must be placed in other districts. The surplus was shifted around to the eastern edge of the county, including Mercedes and Weslaco. I then shifted the surplus in Cameron around to the western edge of Cameron in the La Feria area to match up with the Hidalgo surplus, so that  the shared district is along the county line. About 70% of the district is in the two counties, with the other counties added to make up the population.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 04:49:34 pm »

Districts 41 and 42 are based around Laredo.

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HD-41 (-3.54%) -0.113 change (for HD-41 and HD-42, -0.057 per district) Webb(49%, 33% of county), Starr(35%), Zapata(8%), Duval(6%), Jim Hogg(3%). Cities: Laredo, Rio Grande City, and Zapata CDP.

HD-42 (-3.54) Webb(100%, 67% of the county). Cities: Laredo.

Webb is entitled to 1.441 districts, down slightly from 1.493 in 2010.  This means that almost half of the population of the district is in Webb, and since 95% of the county is in the city of Laredo, almost half the second district is in Laredo.

The Laredo district was underpopulated slightly, so I added a little bit of the more settled areas on the north and south edges of the district, well within the city limits.
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2019, 07:38:03 pm »

McLennan is entitled to 1.3 districts and can not be combined with Bell.
Why not?  1.304 + 1.838 = 3.142, and 3.142 3 = 1.047333....  Can "whole district plus remainder" counties only be combined with each other (and nothing else) if the result is below an even integer quota (but within range)?
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2019, 06:51:17 pm »

McLennan is entitled to 1.3 districts and can not be combined with Bell.
Why not?  1.304 + 1.838 = 3.142, and 3.142 3 = 1.047333....  Can "whole district plus remainder" counties only be combined with each other (and nothing else) if the result is below an even integer quota (but within range)?

Historically, they might have placed Bell and McLennan in a floterial district even though the surpluses added to 1.142. The 5% limit did not apply then.

I have always included the total population in determining the deviation. Recall the 10% deviation limit comes from the Texas House, after SCOTUS noted that they had accepted that much deviation.

White v Regester

At the time (1972), Texas still had multi-member districts, and the court calculated deviation based on their total population. The SCOTUS while overturning the district court decision on equal population grounds, upheld the lower court's ruling on outlawing multi-member districts in Dallas and Bexar counties on VRA grounds. That decision would later be applied to all multi-member districts except in Hidalgo.

Since then Texas has always had single-member districts, and deviation has been calculated for each district. My deviation assumes that the multi-district areas would be subdivided into equal population district. It is at least feasible to do so, even though the division might be somewhat ugly, with one small area divided at the census block area.

Currently, deviation is calculated based on the single member districts, so your calculation of a 4.7% deviation is saying that it would be possible to draw three districts with an average deviation of 4.7% (and therefore all under 5%).

My base plan has 3 pairs of counties with a surplus (Collin-Denton, Cameron-Hidalgo, and Hays-Travis). The Cameron-Hidalgo and Hays-Comal pairing also include other counties. Under the 2010 plan, McLennan and Brazos counties are paired, with their shared district stretching between the two.

My criteria would be:

(1) Fewest divided smaller counties (population less than a quota). Ideally, this would be zero, but that has not been achieved (1970-2010, five plans). These are clearly violations of the Texas Constitution.

(2) Fewest larger counties with an area containing a surplus. This violates the Texas Constitution, but is consistent with the apportionment principles. It is OK to elect from 4 single-member districts within a county because the constitution is silent on the manner of election. It is similar to the US Constitution in this regard. It is not OK to elect from 4.5 single-member districts within a county.

(3) Fewest districts containing surplus areas. These are the by-product of the elimination of floterial districts. This has not clearly been litigated, though it was argued that the pairing of Cameron and Hidalgo was required in 2010. This was more a ploy related to political and VRA grounds (i.e. a district going north might cause the re-election of a Hispanic Republican who had switched party; or it was discriminatory), It was a partisan objective in search of a principle.

This is why I have paired Hays and Travis, and reinforced a decision to pair Collin and Denton, and Cameron and Hidalgo (these latter two makes sense on COI reasons as well).

Guidance to the legislature has been that Type 2 violations should only be be used to avoid going outside the 5% limit. I disagree with this conclusion. I believe that Type 2 violations are clearly preferred to Type 1 violations.

In 2010, Dallas was entitled to 14.118 representatives, and was given fourteen districts with an average deviation of 0.08%. Ellis was entitled to 0.892 districts. By itself it was too small, -10.8%. With its smallest neighbor of Hill, it had a deviation of +10.1%. Both are way outside range. As a result, Henderson was divided with a small sliver attached to Ellis. Besides splitting the smaller county, the connection between Ellis and Henderson is quite tenuous.

If Ellis has been paired with Dallas, then the combined deviation would have been 0.01%. The Ellis County district would have have intruded into Dallas County by about 17,000 persons and there are three cities, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, and Ferris on the border.

In 2020. Ellis will be entitled to 0.930 districts, and Dallas 13.766. I thought it dubious to claim that a surplus of 0.766 to a county with 0.930 complied with the constitution, even though the collective deviation for 15 districts would only be 2.0%.

All of this argues in favor of your proposed Bell-McLennan pairing. The problem is that it leaves leftovers of Coryell+Bosque = 0.481 districts, and Freestone+Limestone+Falls+Milam = 0.432 districts. These are not contiguous, besides having a collective deviation of -8.7%. You could add in Hill and Ellis and split Hill. The split in Hill would replace that of Johnson, so it is neutral in that regard. The Coryell to Milam loop district is quite ugly, but that is not disqualifying. But Johnson would have to be combined with Somervell and Bosque, which breaks the continuity of the ring district.

If you have ever drawn house districts starting in Aroostook and ending in York you have probably got near the end and realized that you have population for 4.5 districts with four to be drawn. It is better to allocate areas with a large number of districts, and draw within them if possible. You might have larger counties such as York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin, and the coastal counties east of Brunswick, and the inland counties such as Oxford, Franklin, and Somerset, and the northern counties Aroostook, Penobscot, and Washington. Kennebec and Piscataquis might be wild cards, placed in a way that would result in a whole number of districts.

I did something similar, with areas in east and west Texas, with McLennan serving as a buffer. The counties placed on either side of McLennan and to a lesser extent Bell were mainly to get a whole number of districts in both east and west Texas.

If we tried to absorb the counties to the west and added a new district, there would be an average deficit of about 3.5%. It is difficult to achieve that amount consistently, while having no districts with a deficit below 5%. At the same time there would be a surplus of population in eastern Texas, because we can only add one district between east and west. This would require a consistent surplus in the east of about 3.5%. Even if this is possible, it might violate equal protection, to consistently underpopulate districts in one part of the state and overpopulate them in another. The Texas Constitution requires apportionment to be "as near as may be" within whole county constraints.

If we don't buffer across McLennan then we have to go south below Bexar. We can't go north of Dallas, because the Grayson-Cooke-Montague district is the only way to draw Grayson into a district, except if placed with Collin. And that splits the Denton-Collin pair, and there would still be a hard boundary between Grayson and Fannin.

I may have biased my analysis by assuming that McLennan would be used as the buffer. The placement of two separate blocks of counties connected by McLennan was deliberate.

It is not totally clear that fewer type (3) districts is actually favored. So for now a McLennan-Bell pairing is rejected.

It appears possible to connect Brazos and Fort Bend, and not have large-scale side effects.
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 02:53:36 pm »

Districts 44 through 58 are along I-35 north of San Antonio through Temple.

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HD-44 (+0.86%)  -0.069 change (in 2020 district relative to 2010) Kerr(26%), Burnet(24%), Gillespie(14%), Bandera(12%), Llano(11%), Lampasas(11%), Mason(2%). Cities: Kerrville, Fredericksburg, and Lampasas.

HD-45 (+3.56%) 0.189 change. Comal(76%), Kendall(24%). Cities: New Braunfels, Canyon Lake CDP, and Boerne.

HD-46 (-0.89%) 0.818 change for HD-46 through HD-53 (0.102 per district). Hays(100%, 82% of county). Cities: San Marcos and Kyle.

HD-47 (-0.89%) Travis(71%, 11% of county), Hays(23%, 18% of county), Blanco(6%). Cities: Lakeway, Wimberly, and Blanco.

In 2010, Hays and Blanco shared a district. Hays will grow almost 1/4 a district, and will be divided. HD-46 is the suburban area south of Austin and on south to San Marcos.

The western part of the county, including Dripping Springs and Wimberly will be place in HD-47 with the western part of Travis and Blanco. The somewhat irregular shape of the border is because of the shape of block groups in the Hill Country, and the desire to keep Dripping Springs and Wimberly and environs together.

HD-48 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Austin (south of US 290)

HD-49 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Austin (west of MoPac)

HD-50 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Austin (between MoPac and I-35, north of Colorado River)

HD-51 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Austin (southeast, south of Colorado River)

HD-52 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Austin (northeast, east of I-35, north of Colorado River)

HD-53 (-0.89%) Travis(100%, 15% of county). Cities: Pflugerville, Wells Branch CDP , and Austin (far north, north of Howard Lane)

Currently Travis County has six representatives. In 2020, it will be entitled to 6.647 representatives. Currently, the district west of Austin in the Hill Country includes about 1/3 of the district in south Austin along the Hays county line. The area west of Austin is placed in HD-47 with western Hays and Blanco.

In a sense, HD-48 is a new district, starting with the remnant third of the otherwise-west Travis District, expanding northward. This forced the two central districts, I-49 and I-50, northward, maintaining the MoPac and I-35 divisions.

HD-51 and HD-52 to the east of I-35 have VRA implications, essentially being on the wrong side of the highway through town. HD-51 is a Hispanic majority district and is little changed except for reasons of population balance and cleaning up the boundaries some, including moving the district south of the Colorado River.

HD-52 was at one time a black majority district, that currently has an ungainly hook through Manor and Pflugerville. In 2010, the equivalent district was only 21% black. The city of Austin redistricting commission deliberately drew a black opportunity city council district, and could only get it up to 28%. Moreover, the same area had been 39% black at the time of the 2010 Census. But House districts are more than twice the population of a city council district. If you can only gather 28% of the black effort, it will plummet as you expand the area in the district.

Blacks are not moving to Austin in the same numbers that whites, Hispanics, and Asians are. And those that are, are not restricted to living in East Austin. Pflugerville and Manor have not unnoticeable black populations of around 15% as people who can afford better homes and schools move out. The 11-term incumbent Rep. Dawnna Dukes was scandal ridden, first pledging to resign, and then deciding to run. She finished 3rd in the 2018 Democratic primary with 10% of the vote. In the primary runoff, the black candidate narrowly defeated the Hispanic candidate.

HD-53 keeps out of the city limits of Austin as much as possible.

HD-54 (+1.90%) Change 0.537 (for HD-54, HD-55, and HD-56, 0.179 per 3 HD). Williamson(100%, 33% of county). Cities: Cedar Park, Austin(extreme north), and Leander.

HD-55 (+1.90%) Williamson(100%, 33% of county). Cities: Round Rock and Brushy Creek CDP.

HD-56 (+1.90%) Williamson(100%, 33% of county). Cities: Georgetown, Taylor, and Hutto.

In 2010, Williamson had to include Milam and Burnet to have enough population for three districts. In 2020, it will shed the two other counties. Currently, Williamson comprises about 60% of the third district. Thus it needs considerable expansion to make up for the loss of the other counties, while the southern districts adjacent to Travis County need to be trimmed some.

The northern district picks up the emerging suburbs of Taylor and Hutto, and the boundary is shifted south to a more neutral location between Georgetown and Round Rock. Bushy Creek is shifted into the Round Rock district for population balance.

HD-57 (-1.71%) Change -0.032 (for HD-57 and HD-58, -0.016 per two districts). Bell(100%, 54% of county). Cities: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood CDP.

HD-58 (-1.71%) Bell(87%, 46% of county), Milam(13%). Cities Temple amd Belton.

In 2010, Bell was combined with Lampasas to create two districts. This resulted in the division of Killeen. Placing Milam with Bell reduces the deviation and produces a better division of Bell.

The irregularity of HD-57 is because it follows part of the boundary of Fort Hood, and that it was necessary to trim very closely around the outskirts of Killeen and Harker Heights for population balance reasons. Nolanville is in HD-58 for that reason.
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 02:50:01 am »

Districts 59 through 63 are south and west of DFW.

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HD-59 (+4.05%) -0.243 change (for HD-59 and HD-60, -0.122 per two districts). Coryell(36%), McLennan(25%, 20% of county), Limestone(11%), Freestone(10%), Bosque(9%), Falls(8%). Cities: Copperas Cove, Gatesville. and Fort Hood CDP.

HD-60(+4.05%) McLennan(100%, 80% of county). Cities: Waco, Hewitt, and Robinson.

Currently, McLennan is in a group of counties stretching down to Brazos, where McLennan and Brazos each have a district, and then there is one district containing surpluses from the two large counties along with three rural counties in between. In 2020, the envisioned configuration is that the district would serve as a population buffer between East Texas and West Texas, with the McLennan district focused on Waco, in sort of a doughnut configuration.

The current district lines chop up Waco, so they were ignored. Instead HD-60 consists of the city of Waco, and neighboring cities of Bellmead and Lacy-Lakeview to the east, Hewitt and Woodway to the west, and Robinson to the south. The district extends out a bit further because it uses block groups, and to get enough population.

HD-61 (-0.36%) -0.009 change (for HD-61 and HD-62, -0.005 per two districts). Johnson(82%, 93% of county), Hill(18%). Cities: Cleburne, Burleson, and Hillsboro.

HD-62 (-0.36%). Ellis(93%), Johnson(7%, 7% of county). Cities: Waxahachie, Ennis, Midlothian, and Red Oak.

Ellis is just short of being able to have its own district (0.929) and there is not an adjacent smaller county that will not put the district more than 5% above the quota. Both Dallas and Tarrant have large surpluses (0.766 and 0.907, respectively) that are not complementary to that of Ellis. This requires a division of a smaller county in violation of the Texas Constitution, but necessary to comply with equal protection under the US Constitution.

Texas could conceivably argue that a single district with a deviation of 7.1% is not a gross violation of equal protection.

The SCOTUS has said that the 10% overall range is the threshold for a burden shifting. If the range is below 10%, the plaintiff must prove that there is a violation of equal protection. If all Democratic districts were deliberately underpopulated by 4.9% and all the Republican districts were deliberately overpopulated by 4.9%, this might support a case based on a claim of political gerrymandering. The SCOTUS has rejected such an argument in the case of the Arizona legislature. There, the state redistricting commission argued that it was necessary for compliance with the VRA to underpopulate minority districts (that happened to vote Democratic). A more cynical reading is that conservative justices were opposed to the justiciablity of partisan gerrymandering claims, and the liberal justices were not inclined to rule against a plan that favored Democrats.

Texas is unlikely to change a practice that has resulted in only one or two exceptions over the past five redistricting cycles, in particular since the 10% range was based on Texas litigation.

Ellis, Johnson, and Hill are collectively entitled to 1.993 districts. A tiny sliver of Johnson is appended to Ellis. This area includes the Johnson portion of Mansfield and Venus, both of which slightly intrude into Ellis (the largest share of Mansfield is in Tarrant). The remainder of Johnson is placed in a district with Hill.

HD-63 (+1.99%) Change +0.017. Parker(70%), Hood(30%). Cities: Weatherford and Granbury.

This is a multi-county (two counties) comprised of two suburban counties west and southwest  of Fort Worth.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 12:05:40 pm by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 04:14:04 pm »

Districts 59 through 63 are south and west of DFW (division of Johnson to follow).

Img

Whereabouts in the light blue blob was the infamous David Koresh compound, or was it perhaps outside Waco proper and in the orange district?
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2019, 09:22:57 am »

Districts 59 through 63 are south and west of DFW (division of Johnson to follow).

Img

Whereabouts in the light blue blob was the infamous David Koresh compound, or was it perhaps outside Waco proper and in the orange district?

The blue blob is Waco, along with the adjacent cities of Lacy-Lakeview and Bellmead to the east, Woodway and Hewitt to the west, and Robinson to the south. The district extends a few miles outside the limits of the cities because it is based on block groups.

But census tracts and block groups are supposed to have statistical meaning, and ideally similar dwellings and demographics. These areas are clearly urban fringe, Even if people live in old farmhouses, or mobile homes, or on 10-acre lots, they still drive into the city to work each day.

The (new) Mount Carmel is near Elk, about 4 miles east of the blob in an isolated rural area. The original Mount Carmel is now in Waco, and included a quite substantial building now occupied by a prep school. That movement fell apart after a millennialist prediction failed to occur in 1959.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2019, 08:02:17 am »

Districts 64 to 74 are to the north of DFW.

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HD-64 (-0.55%) Change 1.327 (districts HD-64 through HD-73, 0.133 per 10 districts). Denton(100%, 21% of county). Cities: Flower Mound.

HD-65 (-0.55%) Denton(100%, 21% of county). Cities: Denton

HD-66 (-0.55%) Denton(100%, 21% of county). Cities: Lewisville, Corinth, and Highland Village.

HD-67 (-0.55%) Denton(100%, 21% of county). Cities: Carrollton, The Colony, and Dallas.

HD-68 (-0.55%) Denton(65%, 14% of county), Collin(35%, 7% of county). Cities: Frisco and Little Elm.

HD-69 (-0.55%) Collin(100%, 19% of county) Cities: Plano and Dallas.

HD-70 (-0.55%) Collin(100%, 19% of county) Cities: Plano and Richardson.

HD-71 (-0.55%) Collin(100%, 19% of county) Cities: Allen, Murphy, and Plano.

HD-72 (-0.55%) Collin(100%, 19% of county) Cities: McKinney.

HD-73 (-0.55%) Collin(100%, 19% of county) Cities: Wylie and Frisco.

In 2010, Denton had four districts, while Collin had four districts wholly within the county and shared a fifth with Rockwall. Both counties gained about 2/3 of a district during the decade, so that Denton will have four whole districts, and the major part of a 5th district, and Collin will have 5 whole districts and part of a 6th.

Collectively, the population of the two counties is equivalent to 9.945 districts, so the two districts will share the 10th district, with 65% in Denton and 35% in Collin. Since Frisco sprawls across the county line, it was decided to make that the core of the shared district. In the 2010 map, the Collin-Rockwall district includes Frisco, and a narrow corridor the western, northern, and eastern boundaries of Collin to reach Rockwall. Population-wise it is very much a barbell that some Supergerryman has bent as if it were a coat-hanger.

In Denton, the initial plan was to retain the basic configuration of the current four districts, but placing Frisco in the inter-county district.

Lewisville is currently divided between two districts. A particular goal of this exercise is to keep cities whole, so that was done here. Currently, the eastern part of Lewisville is in a district that includes the Denton portions of Carrollton and the city of Dallas. The Dallas portion is isolated by Carrollton, so it essentially treated as part of Carrollton. But Lewisville, can not be placed with Carrolton and kept whole.

Separating Carrollton from Lewisville, requires the Carrollton district to go northward picking up The Colony, and pieces of Plano, Hebron, and a small bit of Frisco for population balance. These areas are largely chosen because they are not Lewisville or Frisco.

Lewisville could be placed in a district with Flower Mound. Such a district would consist of little more than the two cities, and require other districts to piece together disparate parts of the county,

So instead the Lewisville district expands northward around Lewisville Lake. There is road connectivity to these areas, including by I-35. Lewisville itself is below the dam, with numerous smaller communities around the lake.

Separating Flower Mound from Lewisville, creates a district based on Flower Mound, which is over a third of the district. To get sufficient population this district stretches around the western side of the city of Denton.

The district that includes the city of Denton also includes the northeast part of the county, an area that is just beginning to fill.

To get the required population for the inter-county district, Little Elm was added to the west of Frisco.

In Collin, the initial goal was to maintain the four existing districts, and create the fifth from the district that extended into Rockwall, after removing Frisco. This left a thin strip extending around three sides of the county with only about 13% of the necessary population. It would have to be fattened.

Currently, Allen is divided between two districts, and Plano between three districts. Plano could fit into two districts, but it would have to lose the strip of the cities of Dallas and Richardson that extend into Collin. Dropping those areas, would have created a narrow panhandle (about 14 miles long by two miles wide), and required adding population to get enough for two Plano-based districts.

Instead, the cities of Dallas and Richardson were treated as being part of Plano. This left a small area of Plano to be trimmed off. The area chosen was to the west of Allen, continuing the city limits of Allen westward.

The Allen district then incorporated population to its east and southeast. The somewhat irregular boundary is due to avoiding including Wylie, which would add too much population, as well as the shapes of some block groups in undeveloped, or developing areas.

The portion of Frisco in Collin is more than is needed for the inter-county district. Initially, I trimmed an area to the east which was added to McKinney. But this produced a district that would have required division of McKinney.

Instead, the division of Frisco was re-oriented so that the excess population could be added to the outer district that runs from Frisco to Wylie. While ungainly, it recognizes McKinney, Allen, and Plano as cores for the other four districts. Rather than dividing those cities, we have a district that aggregates less populated cities.

It should be remembered that the division of fast-growing counties is illustrative. While the apportionment to counties is based on projection of 2017 estimates to 2020, the population of block groups is based on the 2013-2017 ACS, or roughly 2015 populations. Thus there is an assumption that internal growth within a county will be uniform between 2015 and 2020.

This is unlikely. Areas that developed 25-30 years ago, may see declines as children reach adulthood, while newly developing areas will see explosive growth. Most of the approximately 140,000 population growth between 2015 and 2020 will occur in areas of new construction (single family and apartments). There will be some growth in recently developed areas, as children are added, while maturing areas will see some declines as children reach adulthood.

HD-74 (-1.23) Change -0.080. Grayson(69%), Cooke(21%), and Montague(10%). Cities: Sherman, Dennison, and Gainesville.

This is the only combination of smaller counties that Grayson can be a part of.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 08:22:17 am by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2019, 06:08:32 am »

Districts 75 through 79 are in El Paso and counties to its east. Only El Paso is shown.

Img


HD-75 (+0.55%) Change -0.556 (HD-75 through HD-79, -0.111 per 5 districts). El Paso(100%, 23% of county). Cities: El Paso

HD-76 (+0.55%) Change -0.556 (HD-75 through HD-79, -0.111 per 5 districts). El Paso(100%, 23% of county). Cities: El Paso

HD-77 (+0.55%) Change -0.556 (HD-75 through HD-79, -0.111 per 5 districts). El Paso(100%, 23% of county). Cities: El Paso

HD-78 (+0.55%) Change -0.556 (HD-75 through HD-79, -0.111 per 5 districts). El Paso(100%, 23% of county). Cities: El Paso and Horizon City.

HD-79 (+0.55%) El Paso(31%, 7% of county), Val Verde(25%), Reeves(8%), Pecos(8%), Ward(6%), Brewster(5%), Presidio(3%), Hudspeth(2%), Kimble(2%), Sutton(2%), Crockett(2%), Schleicher(1%), Jeff Davis(1%), Culberson(1%), Menard(1%), Edwards(1%), Terrell(0%), Loving(0%). Cities: Socorro, Del Rio, and San Elizario CDP.

In 2010, El Paso barely retained 5 seats in the county, with the districts on average underpopulated by -4.48%. Relatively slow growth results in loss of the 5th seat. Now that the districts can be brought up to a full quota, the remaining districts must gain additional population.

El Paso faces a number of geographical constraints. The name of the city denotes that it is located at a pass between the Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande. Expansion to the south and west would be into Mexico. Expansion to the north runs into the Franklin Mountains. Fort Bliss is to the northeast. The available areas to the northwest and north-northwest are largely developed. This means the only way for expansion is to the east, where the constraint is access to municipal water. roads, etc. Rather than hopscotching about based on developer's acquiring farmland, the development is fairly sequential, with a section being opened up at a time ever eastward.

El Paso has had five house districts for the last four redistricting cycles, so adjustments have been internal to El Paso since the 1980 redistricting. There were two plans in the 1990s as Ann Richards called a special session in 1992 to redraw congressional, senate, and house districts. Due to litigation, the wildly gerrymandered districts did not take effect until 1994. In 2001, after the legislature failed to redistrict, the Legislative Redistricting Board drew more rational districts, which were adjusted by the legislature and the courts in 2011.

Beginning with the westernmost district, I added enough population to get to the quota. This district is currently in two sections divided by the Franklin Mountains, with about 1/3 of the district to the east of the mountains. I did not attempt to resolve this split.

This pushed the next district which includes the central portion of El Paso to the east. I included the populated portions of Fort Bliss for population reasons and to make the district appear more regular.

The next district was extended southeast to the El Paso city limits, but most of the addition was north of I-10 and south of the El Paso Airport. In 2010, about 12% of the district was in this area, and now around 57% of the district is in this area.

The fourth district, having lost almost half its population is extended to Hudspeth county line, and takes in not only the easternmost part of El Paso, but areas beyond.

The remnant of the fifth district is an area south of I-10 along the Rio Grande. While only 7% of El Paso, it is 31% of the district, This area was chosen because it includes smaller towns in irrigated farmland along the river, and I-10 provides a way to get to the remainder of the district.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 05:54:40 pm by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2019, 12:55:04 pm »

BTW, here is the 2018 results on the current map:

Img


Credit to @emilshabanovTX. Beto also lost the South Tarrant seat by 91 votes, so there is another close one.
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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2019, 01:56:23 pm »

BTW, here is the 2018 results on the current map:

Img


Credit to @emilshabanovTX. Beto also lost the South Tarrant seat by 91 votes, so there is another close one.
East Texas

Excludes DFW, Houston, and San Antonio suburbs and I-35 corridor. Includes Grayson, and districts east of I-37. (districts 1-2, 5-9, 11-19, 21-22, 30, 57, and 62)

Current 18RC/1DO. 
2020: 15R/1D

Population loss is exaggerated due to Rockwall, Fort Bend, and McLennan seats extending into areas of East Texas. Loss over 2020 seats, 1.66 districts.

The only Democratic seat is in Beaumont-Port Arthur, which was 33% Cruz. While the district will become more Republican it will remain a Democratic hold. The only close district was in Bryan-College Station. There appears to be considerable Betomania on college campuses. I can't see that being duplicated by any other Democrat.

Warren is old. Biden is old. Booker is black. Harris is black. Sanders is old, and has that awful accent.

Houston Suburbs

Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend (Districts 3, 15-16, 23-29)

Current 9RC, 2DO,
2020: 10R, 2D.

Gain 1.244 seats.

The Sugar Land seat will become more Democratic. It currently has some odd extensions to (try) to keep it Republican, plus the district will shift towards the southeast a bit.

The northern Brazoria district will be pushed to the north and could be more competitive. The added seat in Fort Bend could be competitive, while the other two will become more Republican.

Border

I-37 and south, south of San Antonio and Hill Country, and Trans-Pecos. Includes Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, and El Paso. (districts 31-32, 34-43, 74-80)

Current: 17DO, 2RC
2020: 14D, 4R to 13D, 5R

The areas loses -1.424 districts. To avoid losing a second district, the districts are pushed northward. This makes the two Republican seats safer, and could flip three other seats. Abbott carried two O'Rourke seats. HD-31 and HD-34. HD-31 disappears, but will provide Republican votes in the northern part of the district. HD-34, the western Nueces district expands to the east making it a bit more Republican.

Cruz carried the new district between Eagle Pass and San Antonio, which is currently chopped up between four districts. Cruz piled up big margins in Medina, offsetting Maverick. Cruz also carried Uvalde, Kinney, and Real, and was competitive in Frio and La Salle.

The Trans-Pecos district may flip as it loses Maverick and pushes east into the Hill Country. The only thing that keeps it competitive is  the bit of El Paso that is added, and it likely got a favorite son boost for O'Rourke. El Paso loses a district.

San Antonio Suburbs

(districts 44 and 73). Gains 0.264

Current: 2RC
2020: 2RC

No change.

I-35 Corridor

San Marcos to Waco (districts 20, 45-52, 54-56, 136). Gains 1.079 districts, but two districts are added, since the Waco doughnut is both in east and west Texas (this accounts for one of the extra losses attributed to East Texas).

Current: 4RC, 9DO
2020: 6R, 9D

The Democrats pick up the new district in south Austin, but loss of this area and moving into western Hays and Blanco, shifts HD-47 back into the R column (Abbott carried the district as it is). The Republicans will also pick up the Waco doughnut district that is classified here as an I-35 seat. Democrats will be more competitive in the Killeen seat as it loses Lampasas.

DFW Suburbs

Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis, Johnson, Parker, Denton, and Collin (disricts 4, 10, 33, 58, 61, 63-67, 70, 89, and 106). Gains 1.602, but two seats because of Hunt, Kaufman, and Johnson districts extending outward.

Current: 9RC, 4DO
2020: 11R, 4D to 15R, 0D.

Abbott carried the 4 Collin and Denton districts that O'Rourke carried. The new districts will be Republican.
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« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2019, 05:36:42 pm »

Why can't the texas GOP gerrymander the Beoumont district? Is it VRA protected?
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