I was looking at detailed election results, and the county over from us had about 1/5th the voter turn out, and probably 5 times the population, so it doesn’t seem to add up. I was under the impression that voting districts were divided by county, but the explanation here seems to be that only a small portion of the adjacent county can vote for my district’s canidate.
So how are districts divided? Country level? City level? Arbitrary lines?
The worst battle I ever say when I worked for local government as during re-districting.
Generally speaking, district lines are supposed to be drawn so that there is roughly equal population in each district and that each district has a commanlity of interest. Of course, race gets thrown into the mix (particularly down here in the South - many redistricting maps have to be approved by the Justice Department).
The last redistricting cost my former boss his job. An ugly, ugly scene with accusations of racism being thrown about like so many cornflakes.
For a particularly confusing bit of districting mapping, consider the small town (pop. 1,100) of Illiopolis in Illinois. After the year 2000 remapping of districts, the town was split up such that there are 3 different congressional districts in it and the immediate surrounding area. Yes, three different congressmen in DC will be representing portions of this little town, not to mention the rest of their districts.
No direct link to a cite, now that the Chicago Tribune requires you to register to read much of anything on their site, but this link should give you the article link for the next 6-7 days from this posting, and if you register you can read it for free in that time.
Voting lines are arbitrary. They are only restricted by political boundaries (state lines for state elections, county lines for county elections, etc). Voting lines are drawn up by committee of Republicans and Democrates. They re-draw the lines after a census to change the number of districts to match the population. It is strictly a protect the incumbant process, not an attempt to balance the voters