11-15-2018 10:30 AM - last edited 11-16-2018 06:15 AM
Former Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry redrew the state's 1812 congressional district boundaries so bizarrely that one resembled a salamander. Thus a new term was born: gerrymandering.
This Power BI report is inspired by the ACLU's "What the District?!", a tool that visualizes 65 years of changing United States congressional district boundaries. But this report goes even further: it enables you to go back in time to see the history of these changing lines since the first session the of U.S. Congress. You can directly see how Congressional districts have been drawn — and sometimes redrawn, stretched, or curved — since 1789.
For example, California's 12th Congressional District, which is now entirely within the city and county of San Francisco, used to include parts of Los Angeles, over 400 miles away. Texas' 10th Congressional District now encompasses the Austin metro area. But at one point, it reached the Gulf of Mexico.
When Americans vote on Election Day, we must remember that redistricting is always on the ballot.
Maps in this report created with the Mapbox Visual for Power BI. Styles made in Mapbox Studio. Jeffrey B. Lewis, Brandon DeVine, Lincoln Pitcher, and Kenneth C. Martis created the GeoJSON files of all congressional district boundaries. Ryan Baumann of Mapbox converted the GeoJSON files to Mapbox tilesets. U.S. Congress sessions and dates are courtesy of the United States Senate website.