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Hi everyone!

Version 2.2.23 is released!

Spurred on by a mention of DRA in Sam Wang's NYT article I've spent most of this weekend enabling DRA to load the 113th Congress shapes as the "Old CDs." The existing 111th "Old CDs" are still supported, too.

I've also added a few options (when you start a state) to avoid loading Old LD/SD shapes, City/Town shapes and VAP data. Avoiding these saves memory, so they could be particularly useful for people who have had trouble with California. (On IE a quick experiment indicates it saved 100MB.) You change those en masse when you load a saved file, too.

I hope to make other small improvements as I can find the time and work on some related things in the near future. I have to admit that after all the redistricting in 2011 and the election last year, I've been just doing other things and not thinking as much about politics and redistricting. But thanks to sawolf (with his redistricting call to action) and Sam Wang and Census Bureau releasing the new shapes and all those tea partiers trying to change statewide rules, I'm reengaging. Redistricting should be one of the big battles of this decade. I want to do my part.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Good updates (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dgb, abgin, roguemapper

    Thanks for all your great work.

    26, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:38:31 PM PST

  •  This is awesome (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dgb, BeloitDem, abgin, Alibguy, roguemapper

    Now I have something to do this week: draw all the current districts and look at their partisanship.

    Is it crazy that I probably spend, on average, about an hour a day on DRA?

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:53:33 PM PST

  •  Thanks a ton, Dave! (10+ / 0-)

    You may not be very vocal, but the SSP/DKE community would not be the same without you. Your app has done more to shape this community than anyone except possibly David. I've been waiting for these for a while, and am very excited to start playing around.

  •  You are right David (4+ / 0-)

    The Redistricting must be one of the biggest battles of this decade. I try to fight bebore the current maps were approved, but I was not enough succesful convincing to many Democrats about the need of taking advantage where it was possible, because the Republicans would do their best of very close to it. Now, I'm less focused on this, but I understand your call. It is the right call.

    I'm doing a Democratic map for Illinois, but I will wait until the primary of IL-02 to end it. Then I will can to give the district to the future winner of the race.

  •  Woohoo! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dgb, roguemapper

    I am so glad to see DRA has more updates!

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

    by Alibguy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:22:24 AM PST

  •  Yes, hooray! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dgb, roguemapper

    And thank you also for the quicker loading options - my browser runs really slowly for some mysterious reason (not viruses, done a couple scans) so this should come in handy.

    Vaccinate your child. Vaccinate yourself. | Pro-transit, pro-gun, anti-NRA young black urban progressive | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | MO-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | Hutchinson for IL-02!

    by gabjoh on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:53:55 AM PST

  •  Excellent! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dgb, KingofSpades, BeloitDem

    It's great to see that you've reengaged with DRA, Dave.

    Speaking of reengagement. I've been ultra-busy since I put my own contributions to DRA on hold in October. I had my thesis due in November and the first chapter of the book I'm co-authoring due in December. Then, I basically turned right around to go on a major research trip (4150 miles of driving) in January since my thesis is now developing into another prospective book.

    Point is, my own schedule is finally opening up and I expect to reengage with DRA again very soon. In particular:

    1) I have that sadly neglected Arkansas data set to prep for DRA.

    2) I set aside my New Jersey revision about halfway through back in October.

    3) I've been planning to review all the state data sets I've done to find & fix any errors in my election data (there are two relatively minor ones I know of, in NH and OK) and to also fix the errors in the original Census data, like I did with the one in Norfolk. If I recall correctly, there are three other Census errors that affect VTDs, in CT, MS, and NH (the ones in CA & WA don't change anything on the VTD/block group level).

    So, those are the main things I'd like to do in short order. Further off, I've collected a number of 2012 presidential data sets and want to investigate how viable it'll be to do some key states (like NC, which has a major redistricting case pending). And, of course, there are still the block group states to possibly grapple with (I may actually have a much easier time doing OR & MT with 2012 data than I would with 2008 data, because precinct maps will be easier to come by) and the arduous task of getting 3rd Party votes into the Florida data set and the missing votes into the California data set.

    OK, hope to be in touch via email soon. Great work as usual!

    •  Those will keep you busy! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'll continue to try to get new data in quickly when you have it ready. Thanks!

      Daves Redistricting: 50 states + DC & PR w/ 2010 data. 46 states + DC w/ election data.

      by dgb on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:51:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're an academic? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dgb, roguemapper

      I had no idea! What is your thesis topic?

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:45:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thesis (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inoljt, dgb, wwmiv

        My thesis was titled: "AHEPA vs. the KKK: Greek-Americans on the Path to Whiteness." In short, I reconstructed how the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association was founded in Atlanta in 1922 in response to an anti-Greek campaign by the Ku Klux Klan, and how it was later pivotal to the shift in Greeks from being considered non-white to being considered white within the American racial hierarchy.

        I'm now exploring the merits of turning it into a much broader history of Greek-American racial identity. Of course, other 'white ethnics' went through a similar trajectory, with variations, but the scholarship on Greek-Americans in that regard is far more limited than for, say, Italian-Americans. To state the obvious, there are obvious parallels with the contemporary immigration debate regarding Latinos in particular.

        I'm still debating whether to develop it into a journal article or whether to pursue turning it into a full book. The main reason why I can bring a considerable amount of virtually unknown primary sources into the public domain is because I can read and translate Greek fluently. Most historians of Greeks in America (and there haven't been many at all) make no use of Greek-language sources, probably because they can't read them. Ironically, that's a reflection of how successfully Greek Americans have been assimilated into the American mainstream.

        •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Obviously this is going to be a great contribution for my area of study (minority politics). Please let me know when it is published so I can get a copy.

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:14:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dgb, wwmiv

        I wasn't in academia when I first started posting on SSP or when I started working with election data for DRA. My main interests were, as you might expect, legal and political history, especially international law and the history of globalization. Gender studies and racial/ethnic studies were well on the periphery for me in recent years. I originally went back to college just to get a licensure, not to pursue a post-grad degree.

        Short version: After my last exam on what otherwise would've been my last day, I got into a discussion with a professor, and we realized that a still-born book I had been developing a decade ago was highly complementary to a still-born book she had been developing a half-decade ago. She persuaded me to pursue a collaboration, I didn't think much would come of it, and we got a contract offer from Oxford University Press a few months later. And so it goes!

    •  Key states (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dgb, roguemapper

      I hope that includes Texas for 2012.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:46:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Texas. That's definitely one that I should try and do. The main question is whether they altered their precincts since 2010. Do you know? If not (or if the alterations are few) then I could do it rather swiftly. If there are major changes, then it'll be a challenge, to say the least.

        •  A few (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They split a few old precincts, but from what I understand mostly left old precincts alone. But that's not something I know for sure and depends on the county we're talking about.

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:13:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A humble request: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roguemapper, dgb

    I'm working on a project that tries to compare Census tract data to precinct data.

    Where do you guys get the precinct shape files? Is it publicly available? If it's not, is there anyway you could e-mail me them at Thanks!!!!!

    by Inoljt on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:12:34 PM PST

    •  A somewhat related request (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roguemapper, dgb

      Since most states don't have 2010 block groups, is there any way to get the exact 2010 census demographic data by the new CD shapes? I've so far only been compiling the numbers using precinct data for my Congress spreadsheet and with states like Maryland that results in pretty sizable differences.

    •  Need more details (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Are you looking for precinct shape files for a particular state, for all the states, and for what election year? Also, it seems fairly clear that you mean actual election precincts, but just to be sure, is that what you're looking for or are you looking for the census voting district shape files that are featured on DRA?

      Here's the longer answer: In many case, you can't get precinct shape files because they don't exist. Some are available online (e.g., the 2012 precinct shape files for the entire state of Iowa are downloadable), some you can get by calling and asking very nicely (e.g., most Florida counties have 2008 and 2012 shape files on hand), some you can get by submitting an FOIA request (e.g., Cook County, IL), in many cases the best you can get is a pdf file of precinct shapes (e.g., many Alabama & Ohio counties), and, finally, in some cases the only option is hard copy, which you might get in, say, a fax from a Georgia county clerk or by driving up to some holler in West Virginia, looking at a hand-drawn sketch from ten years ago, and asking the local election worker what streets have been moved from one polling location to another.

      Sorry I can't be of more help than that, but one thing you'll swiftly find once you tread down this path is that the election system across the U.S. is far from the neat, orderly, much-less digitized system that it should be...

      Again, if you have a more specific state & election you're looking for, I can probably tell you whether and, if so, how you can get shape files. Send me a private message if it sounds as if I might be of help.

    •  Census has most of them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Census Bureau has voting district shapes for most states. Generally these are the same as precincts and are what is in the app. I got them via FTP (
      For the app, I got them from the TIGER2010 folder.

      Daves Redistricting: 50 states + DC & PR w/ 2010 data. 46 states + DC w/ election data.

      by dgb on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! I think that that's what I need. (0+ / 0-)

        However, I notice that California has some voting districts with tens of thousands of people. You used block groups instead. Where are the shapes for the block groups?

        by Inoljt on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:39:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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