Each redistricting dataset merges the electoral data the SWDB collected and processed over the preceding decade with the most current census data (PL94-171). The result is a census block level dataset that allows for longitudinal analysis of electoral data over time on the same unit of analysis. Electoral data consist of the Statements of Vote (SOV) and Statements of Registration (SOR) for each statewide election. These data are collected from the Registrars of Voters for each of the 58 California counties with each election.
The SWDB collects the Statement of Vote and the Statement of Registration along with various geography files from each of the 58 counties for every statewide election. The Statement of Vote is a precinct level dataset and precincts in California change frequently between elections. The goal of the SWDB is to make election data available that can be compared over time, on the same unit of analysis – a precinct, a census block or a census tract.
The Beaumont Enterprise
June 8, 2010
There's a reason the two Republican state senators who represent Southeast Texas live somewhere else--Tommy Williams in The Woodlands and Joan Huffman in Houston. Both senators have narrow, wide districts that run east-west from the Louisiana border to the Houston area. In both cases, the bulk of the district's population lies at the western edge, where Republican voters dominate.
It's been like this since the 2001 session of the Legislature, when Texas districts were redrawn after the 2000 census by the party in power --the GOP. Next year's session of the Legislature will see another round of redistricting after this year's census is completed.
Several House committees are already beginning the preliminary work and will hold public hearings throughout the state later this year. The hearing in Beaumont is scheduled take place some time in October.
Southeast Texas deserves a better deal from this process.
For one thing Jefferson County is divided between two Senate districts. The county should be united in one district when the new lines are drawn.
Southeast Texas should have a district anchored right here, but Texas Republicans won't want to do that because that senator could be a Democrat. Hence the current setup in which the region is artificially linked to the Houston area--even though our interests sometimes conflict.
The best way to get around these problems is for district boundaries to be drawn by a neutral panel, as some states do now. If the Texas Legislature won't do that voluntarily, it shouldn't be surprised if the courts do it for them some day.
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