Redistricting Proposal: Senate Version Step 2

30.Sep.2011by Amanda in Redistricting· 1 comment

Step 2a: Create Regions

Taking a printout of the step 1 map, I literally used pencil and paper to start grouping counties into regions.

I began by selecting the counties that had a sufficient population to add up to a whole number without the need to pull population from a surrounding county. These included Allegheny, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, and Philadelphia.

Next, I tried to group counties into regions that required 1 Senator without splitting up a county. Greene and Washington, for instance, quickly stood out as counties fitting this criterion.

The circling continued as it became apparent that some county splits would be unavoidable (the reason for the absolutely necessary clause). It took several tries to end up with population total within the correct range, but the efforts were finally successful.

You can actually try this out yourself. The Senate is a great place to start. Just print out the map from Step 1 and start circling! See what regions you create.

The green squares indicate that no county lines are split. Some Counties — like Allegheny and Philadelphia — may require splits within their borders,

The blue squares indicate one county in the group must be split. It is obvious which county must be split in the region because of population or keeping the district contiguous. For instance, size is the factor that caused Erie and Westmoreland (they were both too big, so the split would have to occur there). And the contiguous reason is behind the splits in Schuylkill, Monroe, and Luzerne.

The white squares indicate that there is more flexibility regarding how the split occurs. We might call them danger zones — where there is danger of ignoring the rules if we are not careful. There were three regions meeting that description.

Step 2b: Verify Population Within Allowed Range

The chart below shows the specifics of how each region added up.

Average Region Size % # of seats Appor-tion-ment Total County
268,100 2.11% 1 1.06 268,100 Dauphin
265,010 2.09% 1 1.04 265,010 Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder
263,322 2.07% 1 1.04 263,322 Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Tioga, Cameron, McKean
261,647 2.06% 1 1.03 261,647 Beaver, Lawrence
260,387 2.05% 1 1.02 260,387 Crawford, Mercer, Venango
259,723 2.04% 2 2.04 519,445 Lancaster
257,793 2.03% 1 1.01 257,793 Lackawanna, Susquehanna
257,267 2.03% 1 1.02 257,267 Clearfield, Cambria, Elk
257,262 2.03% 3 3.04 771,785 York, Adams, Cumberland
256,345 2.02% 1 1.01 256,345 Perry, Huntingdon, Franklin, Fulton
254,836 2.01% 1 1.01 254,836 Bradford, Sullivan, Wyoming, Luzerne (part)
254,593 2.00% 1 1.01 254,593 Bedford, Blair, Somerset
254,496 2.00% 5 5.01 1,272,481 Bucks, Northampton, Lehigh
254,345 2.00% 2 2.01 508,690 Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Carbon, Luzerne (part)
254,334 2.00% 6 6.01 1,526,006 Philadelphia
254,223 2.00% 1 1.00 254,223 Montour, Northumberland, Columbia, Schuylkill (part), Union
253,353 1.99% 1 0.99 253,353 Erie (part), Indiana, Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, Warren
252,899 1.99% 7 6.97 1,770,295 Montgomery, Berks, Delaware
252,803 1.99% 1 0.99 252,803 Armstrong, Butler
252,671 1.99% 1 0.99 252,671 Lebanon, Schuylkill (part)
250,888 1.98% 2 1.98 501,775 Westmoreland, Fayette
250,812 1.97% 1 0.99 250,812 Erie (part)
249,443 1.96% 2 1.96 498,886 Chester
246,506 1.94% 1 0.97 246,506 Washington, Greene
244,670 1.93% 5 4.82 1,223,348 Allegheny
255,509 2.01% 50   12,702,379 Est. Overall Variant: 9.58%

 

After several attempts, everything came out within range. Now I was ready for Step 3: Divide Oversize Regions.

 

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