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wRog
pathological precincts 
13th-Apr-2005 04:17 pm
party politics
(a.k.a. wrog having fun with shapefiles, Part 27:)

(Background: Washington law has provisions for the use of bipartisan commissions to do redistricting, which are generally credited with producing mostly sane legislative and congressional district boundaries. No small-intestine districts here).

Anyway, just in case you were wondering, voting precincts in Washington (or at least in King County) need not be
  • contiguous,
    there being eleven precincts in our district that have at least 3 connected components -- RNT 41-3287 has seven (7)),
  • simply connected,
    BEL 41-3084 being of genus 1 [toroidal], i.e., it has an island in the middle of it belonging to CUTTHROAT -- which, by the way, has to be my all-time favorite precinct name.
To be fair, much of this seems to arise from reasonably convex county-council boundaries intersecting pathological city boundaries rather than any explicit attempt at gerrymandering.

Of course, the county-council boundaries have all changed now (Thank You Harder, Tim Eyman). And of course the new redistricting commission that met last December decided in their infinite wisdom to not follow existing precinct boundaries when drawing new districts, so there's yet more fun coming up.
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