Shuffling Michigan

by

Cartastrophe

It’s election season here in the United States, and as we all know, the combination of democracy and mapping yields one main thing: cartograms! Those entertaining maps in which states, counties, or whatever have been resized based on their electoral significance.

The folks at Decision Desk HQ (decisiondeskhq.com) have been making cartograms for the party primaries, breaking each state out by county (or town, in some cases). I’ve only rarely seen county cartograms, and I don’t think I’ve seen one for election results before, so it’s great that they’re taking this on. But their approach is troubling.

Maps
2016 Republican primary results for Michigan. Decision Desk HQ on the left, New York Times on the right.

Their approach is to resize each county by population (# of total votes would be good, but no good could come of remaking these on the fly as votes come in), and try to keep the overall…

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