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Redistributed Spitball, Texas style


Update, March 11: Federal judges dismiss case. Votes will count! For Election Day, the Harris County secretary left open a drive-through voting center, at the Toyota Center.

We created the Moneyball redistribution to define places where votes have special value and have the potential to affect congress redistribution. The idea is to increase your activity by showing you where to get the votes. The Texas Republicans took the concept in the opposite direction: it was looking to invalidate 127,000 votes in Harris County, home to some of the most influential voters in the country.

It’s a radical gambit. The suppression of the vote is not Moneyball, but like one water balls – against the spirit and rule of democracy. However, there is one advantage. It is so central that you can minimize the possible impact by voting in a very small number of jurisdictions.

The Texas Republicans asked the Texas Supreme Court to cast 127,000 ballots in Harris County to be cast by pass-through. (This is exactly like voting early by walking, except you have to stay in your car.) Today the Texas Supreme Court, even though nearly all Republicans, said no to litigants. The litigants also pursue the case in federal court. They attracted Judge Andrew Hanen, a judge known for strong partisan loyalty. A hearing is scheduled for Monday.

One plaintiff is a candidate for a county judge office, and another is a candidate for the state legislature. they are Required memory card is not loaded, thus excluding ballots for both federal and state / local offices. In order to obtain the state / local office ballot, they relied on an equal defense statement far beyond what any applicable legal principle would support. But Judge Hanen can figure it out.

Eliminating the 127,000 chosen Harris County votes would have devastating consequences. Democrats need to win nine seats to take control and Harris County includes six tight legislative races. This will give Democrats some control exceeds an estimated redistribution of about 39 seats in Congress. So from a Redistricting Moneyball point of view, Harris County’s votes are among the most valuable in the nation.

As a benchmark, the nearest ten points legislative races in Texas all are determined by fewer than 3,500 votes. The elimination of 100,000 votes hypothesis reduces this number, and would be about 4% of Harris County’s 2.4 million registered voters. And in 2016, the President’s final return in that district was Clinton’s victory with 160,000. If successful, the attempt to stop this vote is likely to be decisive.

How much is this worth? Consider that about a third of a state’s Congressional seats can be rotated by redistributing creative parties. Texas is expected to have 39 seats of Congress by 2021. One-third of those will be 13. The difference between the party map and the neutral map would then be about 6 or 7 seats.

If you take into account that running competitive races in Congress today costs $ 3 million, then the value of those seats over a decade is at least $ 100 million. That does not take into account the fact that the disadvantage cannot win non-competitive seats at any cost.

Harris County voters can do a number of things. If you are one of the best voters, you can try again on Election Day. However, this will be a provisional ballot. You can also help pass and vote between people who have not yet voted. Organizations like Harris County Democrat and Harris County Republican Party can do that. (However, I heard that there are very few voters left to participate. It’s been compared to “scraping the last biscuit out of the bowl.”)

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