Use Dave's Redistricting App to Submit a Plan to the Washington State Redistricting Commission
Until August 15, 2011, the Washington State Redistricting Commission is accepting redistricting proposals from citizens. The Information Page describes how to submit a plan using an Excel spreadsheet they provide. They provide KML files that display precinct shapes in Google Earth, but there is no other software support.
But you can use DRA to draw your map and then put the results in the Commission's spreadsheet. Here's how:
- Build your map for Washington in DRA using 2010 Voting
- Make sure you've put every precinct in some district (using Tools/Find Unassigned Dists).
- Save your work map as a CSV file (using File/Save VTD Data As CSV).
- Download the Redistricting Commission's XLS file and open in
Excel (for me it complained that the format was corrupt but allowed
open it anyway).
- Now open a blank spreadsheet in Excel (in order to load your
- Click Data to get to the Data Ribbon (Excel 2007 or later; earlier versions I believe call this Import Data).
- In the Get External Data section (left side of the ribbon) click the From Text button.
- Locate the CSV file you saved.
- Walk thru steps to load the CSV, telling Excel it's comma delimited and IMPORTANT that the Geoid2 column is Text!!! (This is because Excel tries to interpret the values as numbers and messes some of them up.)
- In your loaded spreadsheet remove all rows for Water precincts (Geoid2 value has the text "WV" in them; most, but not all, have the word "Water" in the Name). This is because the Commission's spreadsheet leaves out these precincts.
- Sort the spreadsheet by Geoid2. You'll be given a choice of how to sort the text: Select Sort numbers and numbers stored as text separately .
- Optional: View your spreadsheet and the Commission's side-by-side and verify that all of the precincts are in the same order in each. Their Precinct Code will match the last 5 or 6 characters in the Geoid2 column in your spreadsheet.
- Now copy all the values of the column "District" from your spreadsheet and paste them into the Commission spreadsheet in the column "New Congressional District" (or New Legislative District if you're building a Legislative map).
- Save the Commission spreadsheet and follow their instructions for sending it in.