Electoral Maps Made Proportional

I like electoral maps, and I like seeing the election results plotted out on a map so that it’s easy to see which regions voted which way. The problem with such maps, as many people have noticed, is that large, sparsely populated regions tend to appear to “count” for more. In Canada, for example, Nunavut takes up about one-third the surface area of the country, but sends only one MP (out of 308) to the House of Commons — but boy it makes the map look red when it votes Liberal.

There have been some attempts to compensate for this by distorting the size of each district on the map so that it matches their electoral clout. Two such maps, dealing with the U.S. electoral college, are available online. Dan Hartung did one for the 2000 presidential election (now only available through the Wayback Machine); Sam Wang of Princeton University has drawn one up based on the probability that a state will vote for Bush or Kerry. Interesting stuff — and interesting to see how each of these maps has been generated. Via Rebecca’s Pocket.