Monthly Archives: December 2014

Albany County Legislature Rejects Voting Rights Act Settlement

In a rebuke to County Executive Dan McCoy, the Albany County Legislature rejected a proposed settlement to the Voting Rights Act challenge pending in federal court. As reported in the Times Union, the case now goes back to trial court.

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Updating on the Albany County Redistricting Lawsuit

The Albany County legislative lawsuit has taken a few turns in the last week after efforts to settle have apparently failed. For the latest from Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, read here.

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2020 Reapportionment: New York Likely to Lose One Congressional District

On December 23, Election Data Services released its own report on projected congressional reapportionment. The press release  is provided in full below. If reapportionment were to be determined based on 2014 state population estimates, North Carolina and Texas would gain one congressional district each while Pennsylvania and Minnesota would each lose one (Polidata did not include Texas in the winner’s column a few days ago).

As also reflected in the Polidata report, if projected state population numbers are used, New York State is in line to lose one congressional district after the 2020 census is taken.

Full details and data can be found at under research.

New Census Estimates Show Slight Changes
For Congressional Apportionment Now, But Point to Larger Changes by 2020

New Census Bureau population estimates released today show four states would change their congressional representation compared to what they officially received with the 2010 Census and apportionment process four years ago. This represents a doubling of the number of states in just the past year. The Bureau’s 2013 estimates showed the state of North Carolina would be gaining an additional district (their 14th) if the new population estimates were used for apportionment, while the state of Minnesota would lose a congressional district (going from their current 8 districts down to 7 districts). The new 2014 estimates shows the state of Texas will also gain a district (going from 36 to 37 districts), while the state of Pennsylvania will drop from 18 to 17 districts if apportionment was done with the new numbers. All other states would keep the same number of representatives they were awarded in December, 2010 when the official 2010 Census numbers were released.

While the Census Bureau has suffered budget cut-backs that have eliminated the production of state level population projections for upcoming decades, Election Data Services, Inc. has instead generated a simplified dataset by projecting forward the rates of change in populations from 2010 to 2014 reported by the Bureau within each state out to 2020. Using this new set of data, the apportionment calculations show that between 14 and 17 states could gain or lose districts by
the time the Census is taken in 2020 in six years.

The gainers and losers are:

States Gaining Districts States Loosing Districts
Arizona +1 (from 9 to 10) & Alabama -1 (from 7 to 6)
Calif. +1 (from 53 to 54) Illinois -1 (from 18 to 17)
Colorado +1 (from 7 to 8) Michigan -1 (from 14 to 13)
Florida +1 (from 27 to 28) Minnesota -1 (from 8 to 7)

States Gaining Districts (cont.) States Loosing Districts (cont.)
North Carolina +1 (from 13 to 14) New York -1 (from 27 to 26) &
Oregon +1 (from 5 to 6) & Ohio -1 (from 16 to 15)
Texas +3 (from 36 to 39) Pennsylvania -1 (from 18 to 17)
Virginia +1 (from 11 to 12) & Rhode Island -1 (from 2 to 1)
West Virginia -1 (from 3 to 2)

The states marked by “&” are those where only one of the multiple projection lines showed a change. All other states were consistent in multiple projections.

Kimball Brace, President of Election Data Services, Inc. cautioned users to take the projections as very preliminary and subject to change. “We are only at the midpoint of the decade, and a lot of things could change before the next Census is taken in 2020,” Brace noted. “Having worked with Census data and estimates since the 1970s, it’s important to remember that major events like Katrina and the 2008 recession each changed population growth patterns and that impacted and changed the next apportionment,” he said.

Brace also noted that major changes in the counting process are being planned for 2020 and that reduced budget funding could impact those plans. “It would be ironic that Republican led efforts in the new Congress to cut government spending could cause Republican leaning states like Texas to lose out in apportionment,” said Brace. Texas is the big winner in the new projections, gaining as many as three districts in the study.

The new 2014 estimates also point to how close a number of states stand to gain or lose a district. Most notable are the states of:

Rhode Island – While keeping their two congressional districts, the new data shows the state is now only 21,389 people away from dropping to a single district state. This is down from the 52,481 people margin they had in 2010. At this rate they will be down to just one district in the next several years, the first time this has occurred to Rhode Island since 1789 when the nation was formed.

Oregon – The new data indicates Oregon is also close to gaining a new district. The new estimates show the state is just 53,161 people away from gaining a 6th district. But the projection data indicates it’s not a sure thing for 2020, as one data run found the state still 15,058 away from gaining the district.

Texas – The Census estimates showed the state gained the most population of any state in the past year, a gain of 451,321 people. That was enough to gain a congressional district in the new study. Each of the projection calculations shows the state just gained their last district, each time taking a district in the 430 to 435 range. Election Data Services, Inc. “2014 Reapportionment Analysis”

Virginia – The state hasn’t always been estimated to be close to gaining a district, but one projection method shows the state gaining the very last district (#435) with only 13,929 people to spare.

The 2014 population estimates have not been statistically adjusted for any known undercount. No estimates were also not provided for U.S. military personnel overseas. This component has in the past been counted by the Census Bureau and allocated to the states. Overseas military personnel have been a factor in the apportionment formula for the past several decades, including the switching of the final district in 2000 that went from Utah to North Carolina.

In both 1995 and 2005 the Census Bureau released population projections for states that went 25 years into the future. However, their website now says “The U.S. Census Bureau does not have a current set of state population projections and currently has no plans to produce them.” Earlier this month the Bureau did release single nationwide population projections by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin for the time period of 2014 to 2060.

Past apportionment studies by Election Data Services, Inc. can be found at A historical chart on the number of districts each state received each decade from 1789 to current is also available at this web address.

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Will New York Lose (or Keep) a Congressional District After 2020?

At the end of every year, two national redistricting vendor firms (the folks you hire to draw your maps if you don’t do it in house) release their congressional reapportionment estimates based on the Census Bureau’s annual state population estimates. We are providing the estimates from here. More later from Election Data Services.


The Census Bureau estimates that the national resident population has increased 9.5 million persons (3.07%) since the July 1, 2010 estimates.
(The comparable rate of growth for the 2000 to 2004 timeframe was 4.06%.)
National totals for Total Resident Population (50 states+DC):
Jul 1, 2014 Estimates: 318,857,056
Jul 1, 2010 Estimates: 309,347,057
(Apr 1, 2010 Census: 308,745,538)
States with the largest percentage gains:
ND +9.7%
DC +8.9%
TX +6.8%
CO +6.1%
UT +6.1%
States with the smallest gains or losses:
WV -0.2%
VT +0.1%
RI +0.2%
ME +0.2%
IL +0.3%
States closest to the national average rate:
CA +3.9%
VA +3.7%
WY +3.5%

By using the recent state-level estimates for the post-2010 census estimates it is possible to get a general sense as to which states might gain or lose a seat or more in the apportionment of 2020.
Of course, these are simply to provide a very general idea based upon the assumption that the apportionment would be made upon these numbers alone, without any projection out and without any additional persons for federal overseas personnel.
Were these estimates used to apportion seats in the U.S. House, there would have been only two shifts over the actual apportionment made in December of 2010.
MN would lose 1 seat, dropping from 8 to 7
PA would lose 1 seat, dropping from 18 to 17
NC would gain 1 seat, increasing from 13 to 14
TX would gain 1 seat, increasing from 36 to 37
Note, compared to the previous year’s annual estimates these shifts confirm for MN and NC but add PA and TX.
(In fact, following the actual apportionment in December 2010, two states were flipped, with NC (-16,000) losing out to MN (+9,000) for the last seat.)
Based upon the 2014 estimates: MI is now ranked at 435, with an extra 48,000 persons. PA is now ranked at 436, falling short by 63,000 persons.
Several other states were fairly close to the cutoff of the 435th seat (actually only 385 are apportioned under the formula). Comparing the ranks in the December 2010 apportionment with the July 1, 2014 estimates: (Note that there are some difference in the notations here compared to previous summaries. The parenthetical net compares to positions in the ranks.)

ABOVE the 2014 cutoff:
Seat 431: CA at 53, at 434 in 2010 (+3), with a 427,000 person surplus.
Seat 432: TX at 37, at 447 in 2010 (+15), with a 278,000 person surplus.
Seat 433: NC at 14, at 436 in 2010 (+3), with a 82,000 person surplus.
Seat 434: IL at 18, at 423 in 2010 (-11), with a 93,000 person surplus.
Seat 435: MI at 14, at 424 in 2010 (-11), with a 48,000 person surplus.
BELOW the 2014 cutoff:
Seat 436: PA at 18, at 427 in 2010 (-9), with a 63,000 person deficit.
Seat 437: MN at 8, at 435 in 2010 (-2), with a 40,000 person deficit.
Seat 438: CA at 54, at 445 in 2010 (+7), with a 495,000 person deficit.
Seat 439: OR at 6, at 442 in 2010 (+3), with a 53,000 person deficit.
Seat 440: VA at 12, at 444 in 2010 (+4), with a 113,000 person deficit.

Based upon the new 2014 state-level estimates (see above), a quick review of projections out from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2020 is the basis for a quick review of possible scenarios in the future.
These projections are simple extrapolations based upon the most recent trends and do not account for any overseas personnel nor are they adjusted for the April 1, 2020 census date.
There could be 6 states gaining and 7 or 8 states losing a seat or more based upon alternative scenarios. The scenarios simply modify the rate of growth from the most recent years.
Of these 14 or 15 states only 1 would see a shift or more than 1 seat: TX could gain 2 or 3 seats depending upon the scenario.
States that could gain:
CO, FL, MT, NC, TX, and VA
States that could lose:
IL, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, RI, and WV
The only difference in the states listed is that in one scenario MN would remain at 8 and TX gain only 2 but in the other scenarios MN would lose and TX would gain 3.
The positions of states varies in the scenarios: AL and MT are seats 435 and NY and CA are seat 436. In several cases the number of persons in the surplus or deficit is under 25,000.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arizona Redistricting Challenge on March 2

Thanks to Rick Hasen via Bloomberg BNA Law week’s Kimberly Robinson, the Supreme Court will hold oral argument on the challenge to Arizona’s congressional redistricting by a commission on Monday, March 2.

This is of importance to New York because the new redistricting commission tasked to redraw congressional districts after 2020 depends on the outcome of this case. The New York commission may be left only drawing state legislative districts if the Supreme Court rejects the ability of states to delegate congressional line drawing to entities.

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Civil Rights Groups Weigh In On 2020 Census Planning

Although the next census is in five years, the Dallas Weekly reports on new recommendations and a study prepared by the Census Project.c

From the report:

“WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The 2020 census is still more than five years away, but as the United States Census Bureau prepares for the crucial count of American households, civil rights groups are weighing in and offering recommendations to improve the accuracy of the process.

Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 civil rights groups, said that the 2020 census may seem distant, but the census bureau is in the process of making critical decisions about the design, methodology, and content of the census that will have a dramatic impact on the accuracy of the count in minority communities.

“The census is the most powerful tool that diverse communities have to secure equal access to the benefits of American life,” said Henderson. “If your community needs a bus stop, hospital bed, polling place, or school, or wants to adequately represented at all levels of government, it will be at a severe disadvantage if it wasn’t accurately counted by the census.”

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State BOE Finally Approves Sugarman and Special Investigators

As reported by Capitol Confidential, State Board Of Elections Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman has been approved to serve as a “special investigator” along with three other former law enforcement officers. The appointments were originally considered in November but delay resulted after differences over the additional appointments.

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Reform Groups Seek Ethics & Campaign Finance Reforms If A Special Session Is Called

As reported by the NY Daily News Daily Daily Politics, New York Common Cause and NYPIRG have asked Governor a Cuomo and legislative leaders to act on campaign finance and ethics is a special session is called. Other reports speculate about whether there will be a special session, when it would be called and if there is no session (and legislators will not receive a pay raise next year), how legislators might fare with leadership appointments with stipends (in lieu of a raise).

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New York State Senate Campaign Spending Topped $60 Million

Setting new spending records, the total spent on State Senate elections last month surpassed congressional spending according to Capital New York’s Bill Mahoney

This is one of Bill’s first major reports since leaving NYPIRG.

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State Assembly a Schedules NYS Board of Elections Oversight Hearing

The State Assembly Elections Committee will hold a hearing on the operations of the Compliance Unit of the New York State Board of Elections. The hearing will take place on Friday, December 12th in the 19th floor hearing room at 250 Broadway in New York City. The hearing starts at 10:00 AM.

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