Friday, April 1, 2011

Virginia Senate redistricting plan designed to invite litigation, Part Three: Maps of the five most offensive districts

UPDATE: For other redistricting posts, primary sources, and other information regarding the Virginia Redistricting process in 2011 please see The Road to Redistricting Litigation in Virginia.

In Part Two, I identified the five most offensive districts.
Part Two can be found here:

The division of legislative services has fixed a few bugs with their online mapping system, and I am now able to show you the actual maps of the major problem areas in the top five worst districts for compactness and contiguity.
To reiterate my top five least compact and contiguous districts are.
#5 - District 2
#4 - District 1
#3 - District 36
#2 - District 30
#1 - District 3

I will upload higher resolution PDF’s of the images in this post here:

Districts 1 & 2

District 2 was included primarily for the unnecessary leap across the James river to include precincts Thirty Nine, Thirty Seven, and Thirty Eight in Portsmouth.  This map also shows the major problem with District 1, another leap across the James, this time to capture one single precinct, Harbor View.

District 1

In order to capture Harbor View for District 1, the district runs along the northern shore of the James river, and splits the Downtown precinct, in order to maintain the false impression of contiguity.

District 36

This is a full map of District 36.  The major contiguity problems occur in the split districts along the Potomac approximately 2/5 of the way up the coast on this map.

District 30 & 36

This is a close up of the severely gerrymandered portions of the 30 and the 36 where the map was circuitously drawn to capture particular precincts for each district.

District 30

This is the full version of district thirty where one can see the separate southern portion of Fort Belvoir and Mount Vernon, and the western gerrymandered portion.

This is a close up of District 30 along the Potomac, where the district narrows to approximately 800 feet in a split precinct in order to connect a large landmass in southeastern Fairfax County, to the larger portion of the District in South Arlington and Alexandria.

How Districts 30 and 36 should look

This is a Senate plan for northern Virginia created by the Governor’s commission.  Certainly the districts are not identical, but it would be difficult to argue the districts are not compact or contiguous.  

District 3
These maps do not do this justice.  To understand how offensive this district you must go on to the DLS website, download Microsoft Silverlight, and explore this district yourself.

Parts of three peninsulas, and then cross the James River . . .

The lower portion of District 3, on the north shore of the James River is so gerrymandered, that by itself it may have made the top five list.

There is no substitution for looking at the details of the districts yourself.  The entire plan is so badly gerrymandered, that one has to wonder if the Senate Democrats even considered the possibility of losing their districts in litigation.  

Once again the DLS maps can be found here:
I will upload higher resolution PDF’s of the images in this post here:

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