NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On December 8, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Evenwel v. Abbott, whose plaintiffs argue that legislative redistricting should be based on the number of voters instead of all residents.
Professor Andrew Beveridge analyzes the effects of such a change in the report The Threat to Representation for Children and Non-Citizens: An Analysis of the Potential Impact of Evenwel v. Abbott on Redistricting. Available for download here: http://static.socialexplorer.com/evenwel/Evenwell_Impact_Report.pdf
The award winning data visualization website Social Explorer (Beveridge is the president and co-founder) developed a companion interactive tool to show how state legislative and congressional districts would need to change and which groups would be affected.
Explore the maps to see the impact nationwide, and zoom in for a close-up of your local community. Engage your readers by linking to the interactive tool: http://www.socialexplorer.com/evenwel
"If the Court should rule for the plaintiffs, virtually all legislative districting plans in the US would need to be redrawn, and children and non-citizens would no longer count towards representation," said Beveridge.
The report and tool rely on data from the Census Bureau that would have been available in 2011 to draw districts. (These data are also downloadable from the tool.)
Using the usual redistricting standards the following results were found:
- Nearly half of upper house legislative districts would no longer be of legal size compared to the eligible-voter based average district size (49.9 percent or 974 of 1951).
- Over half of the lower house legislative districts would also need to be redrawn (57.2 percent or 2,739 of 4,792).
- More than two thirds of congressional districts would be beyond two percent of the eligible-voter based average district size (69.7 percent).
- There would be a substantial power shift away from areas with children, Hispanics, Asians and non-citizens towards areas with older residents, who are more likely citizens and non-Hispanic white.
- The equivalent of almost five congressional seats (4.89) would switch from Democratic to Republican control.
- The concerns of each political party could shift as fewer Hispanics and parents would have a voice in elections, while the influence of the childless and non-Hispanic communities would grow.
SOURCE Social Explorer, Inc.