Equal-Population Or More Useful “States”
Building on Peter’s topic of representation, let’s take a quick look at fair and impartial redistricting. While those of us outside DC have representation, redistricting abuse by both parties distorts democracy…
You might remember this Electoral Reform Map by Neil Freeman at FakeIsTheNewReal.org that redivided the United States into 50 bodies of equal size. Longtime reader and commenter DLS points us to a similar kind of map illustrating congressional district reform. Says D:
Reconstituting (or “reconfiguring”) the states is interesting. I’d press hard for respecting natural boundaries and landforms, etc., watershed boundaries, but we’d also likely create new states that were based on metropolitan areas (unifying those that currently encompass multiple states).
I’ve advocated redistricting (federal districts) based on contiguous Census districts and ZIP codes, adjusting for things like county lines and physical features (same as with re-engineering the set of states we have, in addition to centering these on major metro areas).
D’s been in touch with this site suggesting a full USA map for federal districts and states that divides the lower 48 population by 48 rather than the whole USA by 435.
I have to agree with him, it would be a fascinating map. Look how obviously and simply sensible the districts in my own state of Georgia appear (old on the left, new on the right, jump to other state maps at top right)…
Click around. It holds true for the other states, too.
[It] would be a kinda interesting technical challenge just to get all the data together. The largest state has over 600,000 census data points, and the whole US is almost 9,000,000 census data points. It would be doable, but slow. The data just isn’t formatted that way right now. Most of the work would be just setting up the data to feed into the programs that use it.
Continue the conversation @jwindish #TMVcomments, at my Public Notebook where comment are open, or email me at joe-AT-joewindish-DOT-com. I can’t reply to all emails, but I will occasionally publish follow-up posts featuring reader feedback, including feedback that disagrees with me.