The November 2012 election will not only decide a new President, but will also determine state legislative and Congressional representatives in New York for districts that were redrawn earlier this year during redistricting. In Congress, New York lost two seats (from 29 to 27), requiring district lines to change substantially across the state. In the State Senate, a 63rd district was added and district lines also shifted locally and statewide. State Assembly districts were also changed.
If you’ve become accustomed to voting in a certain district over the last decade, it’s helpful to know how the new district lines compare with the old ones. Earlier this year, the team at the Center for Urban Research developed an interactive map that makes it easy to compare old and new district lines. The "comparinator" approach -- side by side maps or overlays that fade from old to new districts -- helped community groups, elected officials, news reporters and editors, and the general public better understand the implications of redistricting across the state. As we get closer to the November elections, our "before and after maps" are providing a valuable service to organizations helping people understand what districts they'll be voting in.
Some of the examples below include links to specific districts on our maps. Others use an embedded version of the map so it displays directly on the organization's website.
Here's a round-up of recent links to our maps:
- The Albany Times Union embeds our map in their Capitol Confidential blog, reminding voters in New York's capital district that new district lines will impact where they can vote and for whom they can vote. Below is an example of CUR's embedded map:
- The NYC Campaign Finance Board includes links to our maps of state and congressional districts as part of the Board's online voter guide for the 2012 general election.
- NY1 -- New York City's 24-hour cable news channel -- has featured our interactive maps in numerous segments this year about key state legislative and congressional races across the state, most recently during NY1's "Fight for the House" series analyzing close races for Congress in New York. Here are some links (you may need a Time Warner account to view the videos):
- the New York Times has recently linked to our maps for stories about the upcoming elections. Examples include:
- Attack Ads, by Outside Groups With Murky Ties, Shape 3 New York Senate Races (Oct. 16, 2012; see links in the 3rd paragraph);
- Groups Push to Highlight Campaign Finance Reform (Oct. 21, 2012; link in the 5th paragraph); and
- Cuomo Hits Campaign Trail for New York Democrats in Tight House Races (Oct. 26, 2012; see 3rd-to-last paragraph).
- The civic data organization Civic Impulse launched an online service called my2012district.com that "gives you an easy way to get the low down on your federal current congressional district and its candidates." It provides a list of candidates & maps for your congressional district. If you type in a New York street address, the service also includes a link to the Center for Urban Research's interactive map of Congressional districts with race/ethnicity characteristics mapped statewide.
- In September before the state legislative primary election, CUR posted an analysis of the characteristics of all those who live in the new state Senate and Assembly districts versus the smaller group who will be eligible to vote for each district's representatives. In some cases the differences are striking. The disparity was highlighted in Clyde Haberman's New York Times column on primary day, noting that "districts in New York City have appreciably smaller pools of eligible voters than districts elsewhere in the state."
- Local news websites such as DNAinfo.com rely on our maps for their stories, such as this one about campaign issues in a newly redrawn State Senate district in Manhattan (see link the the 6th paragraph).
Thanks to our supporters!
Our interactive maps rely on several techniques and technologies, which we describe in more detail here. These include the open source spatial data engine cartoDB, the open source interactive mapping platform OpenLayers, and data provided by LATFOR.
Funding support for this and other civic engagement-related mapping projects generously provided by the Hagedorn Foundation.
Our redistricting mapping application was prepared originally in collaboration with The New York World.