The New and Improved Electoral College Map

By James Fallows

Three years ago I mentioned a project Neil Freeman, an artist and urban planner in New York, had worked out to fix the Electoral College system. He divided the U.S. into 50 jurisdictions of more-or-less equal population, tried to keep them geographically contiguous and culturally coherent, and came up with this result:


Thumbnail image for reform_gis_main_map_800.jpg



Now the 2010 Census results are in, and Freeman is back with a new, improved, and way spiffier (plus anthropologically/geographically informed) Electoral Reform Map. You can get more details at his site, but this will give you the idea:


electoral10-1100.jpg

I object to one "improvement," his renaming of my original homeland. Before, it was on the border of Coronado and Mojave; now it is in Temecula, which for childhood-experience reasons I resist*. Otherwise, sign me on for this plan. Meta-point: one more reminder of how rusty and skewed the machinery of our democracy has become.
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* What's more, the namesake city of Temecula is just barely inside this new Temecula jurisdiction, which mainly replicates the borders of San Bernardino County (plus some of Riverside) and most of whose territory is taken up by Mojave Desert. Thus the aptness of the original name! But I suppose this doesn't matter -- and I know that people from, say, Scioto would have their own nit-picks. I just didn't like Temecula when I was a kid.

Also, as Freeman just pointed out to me in an email, it is possible that some residents of the new unit named King might put up a fuss. You'll see what he means.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/02/the-new-and-improved-electoral-college-map/273190/