27 October 2020

Redrawing State Lines For Fairness And Greater Political Harmony

Some of these are possible and good ideas to implement. Some are pipe dreams and can be viewed as alternative history outcomes.

If all of these proposals were adopted, the U.S. would still have 50 states (no need to change the flag) and would have no self-governing territories that lack political representation in the federal government.

Four new states would be formed from U.S. territory outside any U.S. State. American Samoa would leave the U.S. to join the adjacent independent state of Samoa. California would be divided into two states. Ten existing states would be merged into five states. There would be six one way territory transfers from one state to another, and one territory trade between two states.

Form Four New States From Federal Territory

Each of the proposed states has already handles all of its subnational governmental affairs on its own which is the point of being a state or not. The primary change in each case would be representation in the federal government.

* Admit the District of Columbia as a state (population 0.69 million).

* Admit Puerto Rico as a state (population 3.34 million)

* Admit the U.S. Virgin Islands as a state (population 0.11 million).

* Admit Guam (population 0.17 million) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (population 0.05 million) (which are adjacent to each other) as a single new U.S. state  with two county level governments. 

One U.S. Territory Joins Another Country

Encourage American Samoa (population 0.05 million) to merge with the independent state of Samoa (population 0.20 million) and leave the United States. There is no good reason for the two to be politically divided and for them to be ruled without representation from Washington D.C.

Divide California Into Two U.S. States

California is large in population and area to the point of being unmanageable, in addition to being grossly underrepresented in the U.S. Senate. Divide California into a northern state of Golden (18.15 million people, 51 counties) and a Southern state of California (21.37 million, 7 counties) as shown below. The Los Angeles CMSA is kept in tact.
Merge Five Pairs Of Adjacent U.S. States

Each of the proposed state mergers below merge geographically adjacent states with very compatible populations, identities, economies, politics, and needs. The first four leave states with modest populations even merged. Texas and Oklahoma merged would still have a smaller population and more homogeneity than California.

* Merge Montana and Wyoming (1.65 million people)

* Merge North Dakota and South Dakota (1.65 million people)

* Merge Nebraska and Kansas (4.85 million people)

* Merge Kentucky and West Virginia (population 6.26 million).

* Merge Oklahoma and Texas (32.96 million people)

Six Territory Transfers Between U.S. States And One Territory Trade Between U.S. States

The proposals below wouldn't change the balance of power in the federal government much, but would put more people in states better aligned with their political leanings.

Two Transfers Of Territory To Idaho (From Washington and Oregon)

Map from here.

A Transfer of Territory From Nevada To Utah

The seven counties in Northeast Nevada (population 0.12 million) would be transferred to Utah, giving Utah a new population of about 3.32 million), six are connected via I-80 to Utah, the seventh borders Utah. The ten remaining counties of Nevada would have a population of 2.59 million.

It would also be workable to break Nevada into two states, with or without this territory transfer to Utah. One state, call it Vegas, would have Nye, Clark and Lincoln counties (population 2.00 million). One state, Nevada, would have Washoe, Storey, Carson City, Lyon, Douglas, Mineral and Esmeralda counties (population 0.59 million) either without the counties transferred to Utah in the proposal above, or with them (population 0.71 million) with would end the need to involve Utah in the matter.

A Transfer Of Territory From Michigan To Wisconsin

Transfer Upper Peninsula (population 0.31 million) of Michigan (population 9.99 million including the UP) to Wisconsin (population 5.82 million).

Thus, the post-transfer population of Michigan would be 9.68 million and the post-transfer population of Wisconsin would be 6.13 million.

A Transfer Of Territory From Florida To Alabama

Transfer the twelve county part of the Panhandle of Florida which is to the south of Alabama (i.e. Escambia, Santa Rose, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty and Franklin counties) with population 1.04 million, from Florida (population 18.80 million) to Alabama (population 4.90). 

Thus, the post-transfer population of Alabama would be 5.94 million and the post-transfer population of Florida would be 17.76 million.

A Transfer Of Territory To Ohio

Transfer Western Pennsylvania to Ohio.

Fun fact: Westsylvania was proposed as the 14th state during the American Revolutionary War. It would have been located primarily in what is now West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania, and small parts of KentuckyMaryland, and Virginia.

A Territory Trade Between Illinois and Indiana

Transfer Southern Illinois to Indiana and far Northwest Indiana (e.g. Gary, Indiana) to Illinois.

2016 County Level Presidential Election Results

1 comment:

Dave Barnes said...

Let's not forget: Add Cuba as a state.