A New Redistricting Algorithm: Redistricting Virginia

Other articles in this series

After my previous write up on Redistricting Michigan, I worked on running the algorithm on Virginia.

Virginia’s existing counties are not as regular as those in Michigan.

And they also contain 38 independent cities within the boundaries of the counties.

These are seen as distinct counties within another county. And for all practical purposes, they are geographic islands to the redistricting algorithm. These bought in an interesting challenge where the algorithm would have problems leaving stray Census blocks. But that was remedied by attaching any stray Census blocks to the closest resulting district.

The Proposed Districts

Virginia’s 11 federal congressional districts as computed by this algorithm.

Here we have the 11 districts, each with the required 727,366 people (plus or minus 1 person).

If you’d like to explore the results (and the current Virginia Federal Congressional Districts), you can do that here.

The map follows the existing counties fairly well. Breaking in low population areas as much as possible.

These are the existing districts:

And the proposed districts:

They seem more orderly and are definitely more compact. Richmond was a little concerning at first:

Four districts meet there. But the breaks follow expressways fairly closely.

What’s Next?

I will be running the algorithm on Michigan to create the State House and Senate district maps.

If you’d like additional information or have feedback, I’d definitely like to chat. Feel free to reach out:

Thank you!