Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Congress/Congressional districts

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WikiProject U.S. Congress (Rated Project-class, Mid-importance)
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  • "Military"? Since when does my congressional district have it's own military? :P
  • "Evolution of geographic setting". The name of this heading is a bit awkward. What about "Historical boundaries" or "History of district boundaries"? Kaldari 23:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Fixed--G1076 02:32, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I think listing elections from latest to earliest would be more useful, especially if elections go back a long way. The most recent election is the most germane. Sprkee 00:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
    • "Germane" to what? Some researchers want early history, some want current events. Who's to say? —Markles 00:58, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
      • I am just imagining a district that stretches back to the 1700s, and my thought is that most readers would be more interested in more recent election results. The data is all there, in order, for everyone, but is organized in way that is most accessible. Also, since many districts may not provide results back to the very beginning, it may be more logical to start with one endpoint--the latest results--than to start at a random point where the editor decided to start, or was able to find results. Just my two cents. - Sprkee 01:06, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
        • Practically speaking, if editors are able to collect the election data back to the 1700s, then the page will be too big and the election results will have to be split out to a separate article. I would imagine that the the most recent elections would remain on the congressional district article page with a main article link to Foo's 1st congressional district election results article.--G1076 02:32, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
          • I agree. On the Tennessee's 5th congressional district article we specificly label the section "Recent election results" as I really wouldn't want to list all 32 elections. I could see a sub-article though if someone really felt like listing all of them. Kaldari 06:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
            • That sounds fine to me. Perhaps we want to title the boilerplate section Recent election results, as you have done in that article. Also, to my original point, that article lists the most recent election first, whereas this boilerplate suggests listing the oldest first. Is there a consensus on the order in which to list the elections? - Sprkee 19:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't mind changing the section title to Recent election results, but I do think that the order of elections should remain oldest to newest. It is consistent with the order of the list of representative that we have in the section above it and how we have generally been ordering tables throughout the project.--G1076 20:20, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Sounds reasonable. Thanks for the discussion. - Sprkee 20:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Georgia Congressional Districts[edit]

I've mentioned this on the Georgia WikiProject but this seems appropriate too. Georgia Congressional Districts needs to be updated badly. Maybe someone here can help. Akubhai 13:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • The problem is that there is not a good source of information for the changes since the 2005 redistricting. Typically, has had maps, but it still isn't updated for the 110th Congress. Does anyone have such a source? —Markles 15:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Here are some [1] but they are copyrighted from what I can tell.
The department of education has some nice ones too: (change the district number to see others). Akubhai 17:14, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

110th Congress District Data[edit]

It's true that NationalAtlas and other federal sources have not updated their maps to refect congressional boundaries for the 110th Congress. However, the U.S. Census Bureau has posted all of the underlying boundary information for all currenct congressional districts. The data is in the public domain and free for the public to use for any purpose. If anyone has a GIS mapping tool that can read shapefiles, they could use this information to create maps of each district. Only Texas and Georgia saw any congressional redistricting in 2005 and 2006 that are affected, so you wouldn't need to generate new maps for all districts. The 109th District Maps are still valid for all other congressioanl districts.

Mapping Data is available at this address. ASCII data is also available, which includes the raw latitude and longitude information that could be used to generate Google Maps.

Cartographic Boundary Files— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dcmacnut (talkcontribs)

Map of Georgia's 1st Congressional District[edit]

I have created a rough map of Georgia's 1st congressional district as it stands for the 110th Congress. I used the aforementioned Census Bureua data, GIS software, and Photoshop. It's a very rough approximation, but should serve its purpose until the federal government creates a higher quality public domain version. You can compare it to the version from the 109th Congress. It didn't take that long to create, so I could do the other 12 districts if nobody has a problem with this rough version. Crossreferences on the main project talk page. Dcmacnut 04:32, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Question about redistricting[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization#Question about redistricting for a question I have about how to present geographic discontinuities due to redistricting in succession boxes. Thanks. olderwiser 15:25, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


It would be nice to be able to provide demographic information about each district. More details on geography would also be useful. john k (talk) 20:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

North Dakota[edit]

I note the other states have separate articles for the At-large district and District 1, if it has had both in their history. North Dakota has District 1 and At-large merged in the same article; shouldn't these be split, or is ND-AL/ND-1 somehow different? --Golbez (talk) 04:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Found another one, Vermont has no district 1 article, but has an at-large article. --Golbez (talk) 14:32, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

"Territory At-large" or just "Territory"[edit]

Question: Should all the Territorial district articles be renamed "Foo Territory's At-large congressional district" to "Foo Territory's congressional district"?

  • Support: ALL of them are at-large. "At-large" is redundant. Nobody thinks of them as being called "Foo Territory's At-large congressional district."—Markles 19:46, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: Good idea. Works for me. The other wording is a bit much. --Esprqii (talk) 19:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
    • OK, then let's see if there's a consensus before we make such a drastic change.—Markles 20:01, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
      • Just in case we don't get a dissenting view, I'll offer one: the National Atlas district map for Guam (a current territory) includes "At large" in its title. Maybe we should keep the full names, but provide redirects? --Esprqii (talk) 20:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
        • Troublemaker.—Markles 20:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
          • It's no fun if we can't take it to WP:DR. --Esprqii (talk) 20:12, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Query: Is "congressional district" actually appropriate? Should the articles perhaps be called "X Territory's congressional delegate" or the like? Like any other naming question, we should be guided by what they were actually called. I have no idea what they were called, but I am suspicious of anything other than a district that elects a full representative being called a congressional district. Do I win the "Troublemaker" label? -Rrius (talk) 20:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
    • Well, from my Guam example above, the picture shows it labeled as a "congressional district" even though it's a territory. So I think that part is pretty-well established. I'm still going back and forth on whether it's a good idea to rename them. After all, we could just rename Wyoming's At-large congressional district to Wyoming's congressional district using the same logic. --Esprqii (talk) 21:43, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
    • These articles are about the place, not the person. Thus, "district" is correct. —Markles 21:51, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
      • To address both of these points, the National Atlas image is not an especially persuasive source for what these were called when they were in use. What's more, it says "Congressional District: At-Large", which has the feel of trying to impose their standard design paradigm on these particular maps. So I don't see this as at all settled. To Markles point, I'm not saying that we are talking about the person, necessarily, but it is my contention that there may have been no term like "territorial congressional district". Instead, it seems likely to me that there was no purpose in trying to talk about a territory as a geographical unit that elects a delegate: you'd either refer to the territory or the office. Using "X Territory's At-large congressional district" seems like we are making something up that never existed, which is hardly a firm basis for naming Wikipedia articles. Since the articles are lists of delegates, calling such a thing, "X Territory's congressional delegate" or the like is not at all inappropriate. -Rrius (talk) 19:41, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
        • Uh oh! Rrius makes good points and I don't know how to proceed. For ALL at-large districts, it's not really a place at all. "Delaware's At-large congressional district" = Delaware. All of these articles are designed to discuss the history of the person, not the place, despite what I wrote earlier. I actually don't know what to do now. —Markles 20:04, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Are we talking about doing this for just obsolete districts (for territories that have since become states) or all current territories and dependencies, such as Virgin Islands, American Samoa, District of Columbia, etc.? I really don't care one way or another, but we need to be consistent. Also, if Congress succeeds in passing legislation giving the District of Columbia a full voting representative in Congress, then we would need to change that article's title back to include the "at large" designation, to be consistent with the 50 state district articles. Regardless of the decision on territories, I believe the current "at large" states should include "at large."DCmacnut<> 17:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
    • What we're considering is JUST the articles that have the word "Territory" in them. None of the current "territories" have that in the article title. Therefore, none of them would be changed (including DC). Here's the list:
To be changed To remain the same
Markles 19:29, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • That clarifies things. As far as Rrius's concerns over whether these are called congressional districts, and were considered as such when they existed, the Congressional Directory classifies them as congressional districts. I need to find one of my older copies for reference, but I see no problem continuing to reference territorial districts as congressional districts.DCmacnut<> 19:21, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
    • Good, as long as we have a source, I'm happy. -Rrius (talk) 17:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Is "at large" a place?[edit]

Continuing the discussion above. I've always felt the district articles hould do more to talk about the district as a "place," rather than just providing information on who represented it. For example, see Historical Boundaries at Alabama's 8th congressional district articles. What defines a district as evolved over time, with some states electing multiple members from the same numbered district or multiple members at-large. I think that's an important part of the articles.

I've done some research of older Congressional Directories (pre 1950). In general, each state's delegation is listed by district. When there is only one member, the district is numbered "at-large." Territorial delgates are listed last, but lack the "at-large" modifier. From the late 1890s on, the Directory started including a section called "Maps of Congressional Districts." Terrorities are included in this section (again after the states). They are all lumped into one category of "congressional districts," and the territories aren't called anything different. Is that enough to style them "congressional district" for Wikipedia purposes? I would say so, since it is a term that people are relatively familiar with, and helps describe the place (which is represented by a person). Here is are examples from the 61st Congress (page 407), 62nd Congress (page 396), and [64th Congress (page 398).

No matter what we decide, we should be consistent and be mindful of the audience. If nothing else, at-large (for states) allows us to disambiguate between districts for states that once had just one member but now have more (e.g. Utah, Arizona, New Mexico) or states that lost members to redistricting (e.g. Montana, the Dakotas, Delaware).DCmacnut<> 17:08, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

For the broader point, I'd like to see the districts describe the territorial changes, too. Unfortunately, I don't have any access to old maps, so I can't really help. If someone hits the mother lode and wants to upload maps (even if it has to be somewhere other than WP or Commons), I'd be perfectly happy to help. -Rrius (talk) 17:22, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

So… is there any objection to converting "Foo Territory's At-large congressional district" to "Foo Territory's congressional district"? We can settle the other issues separately.—Markles 17:11, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Support renaming All territories elected delegates at large, and the delegates represent a "congressional district". It might be nice to create a category like"Category:Congressional districts of United States territories" or "Territorial United States Congressional districts". --Esprqii (talk) 18:16, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Questions Why not handle the state at larges at the same time? Some states will have to retain "at large" because they've also had multiple districts, so "State's congressional district" would be misleading or confusing. For states that have only ever had one district, dropping "at large" wouldn't hurt anything. Would it be problematic to have some states with "State's At-large congressional district" and others with "State's congressional district? If so, is there reason for disparate treatment of territories (e.g., is it enough that no territory ever had more than one delegate)? Finally, whatever change we make, can we also drop the capital letter in "at-large"? -Rrius (talk) 19:03, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Sidenote: I noticed this section of the "delegate" entry which states that "when a territory was officially recognized by Congress to be properly organized, it would send a delegate, sometimes two ....(emphasis added)" This is fully uncited. I can't find any territories that had more than one delegate. Any evidence of that? If not, it needs to be corrected. --Esprqii (talk) 19:26, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
The Philippines had two. Both were elected at-large.—Markles 19:32, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah...well, if that's the only one, we should probably just call that out as the exception rather than the way it sounds now, which is more like, "depending on whether Congress felt generous that day..." --Esprqii (talk) 19:35, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I've made the change. -Rrius (talk) 19:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)


I'm pretty good at coding templates, but I can't figure out how to change the code for {{ushr}} to eliminate "At-large" in territorial articles only.—Markles 13:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Can you make it so if the district number parameter is set to TERR (or even NONE, if you want to make it possible to do this for any entity) it causes the district field to not be used? You probably still need to set the state name parameter to the name of the territory. So then {{ushr|Oregon Territory|TERR}} would produce "Oregon Territory's congressional district". Would that work? --Esprqii (talk) 21:54, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oo! Good idea. I'll try it in the next day or two.—Markles 23:05, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Wait, we'd have to enter new data for ALL the articles that transclude it. I wish there were some way to do a text search inside the parameter like I'd do in an excel function such as ' = if ( right ( A23, 9) ="territory" , … ) '—Markles 13:10, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

District vs. Seat[edit]

In some cases, there is an at-large district, other cases it's an at-large seat. The difference is when the state has many districts as well as an at-large seat.

For example, from 1873 to 1875, Pennsylvania had 27 seats: 24 districts plus three at-large seats. Another example, Delaware has always one at-large district, even when it elected 2 Reps to that seat (between 1813 and 1823).

All territories have districts.

My question: Should we distinguish between seats/districts?

See, for more information: At-large#United States.

State, etc district / seat Which is it?
Alabama Territory Alabama Territory's At-large congressional district District
Alabama Alabama's At-large congressional district Seat (+District?)
Alaska Territory Alaska Territory's At-large congressional district District
Alaska Alaska's At-large congressional district District
Arizona Territory Arizona Territory's At-large congressional district District
Arizona Arizona's At-large congressional district ?
Arkansas Arkansas's At-large congressional district Seat (+District?)
California California's At-large congressional district Seat (+District?)
Colorado Territory Colorado Territory's At-large congressional district District
Colorado Colorado's At-large congressional district ?
Connecticut Connecticut's At-large congressional district ?
Dakota Territory Dakota Territory's At-large congressional district District
Delaware Delaware's At-large congressional district District, with two seats from 1813 to 1823
Florida Territory Florida Territory's At-large congressional district District
Florida Florida's At-large congressional district ?
Georgia Georgia's At-large congressional district ?
Hawaii Territory Hawaii Territory's At-large congressional district District
Hawaii Hawaii's At-large congressional district ?
Idaho Territory Idaho Territory's At-large congressional district District
Idaho Idaho's At-large congressional district ?
Illinois Territory Illinois Territory's At-large congressional district District
Illinois Illinois's At-large congressional district ?
Indiana Territory Indiana Territory's At-large congressional district District
Indiana Indiana's At-large congressional district ?
Iowa Territory Iowa Territory's At-large congressional district District
Iowa Iowa's At-large congressional district ?
Kansas Territory Kansas Territory's At-large congressional district District
Kansas Kansas's At-large congressional district ?
Kentucky Kentucky's At-large congressional district ?
Louisiana Louisiana's At-large congressional district ?
Maine Maine's At-large congressional district ?
Maryland Maryland's At-large congressional district ?
Massachusetts Massachusetts's At-large congressional district ?
Michigan Michigan's At-large congressional district ?
Mississippi Territory Mississippi Territory's At-large congressional district District
Mississippi Mississippi's At-large congressional district ?
Missouri Territory Missouri Territory's At-large congressional district District
Missouri Missouri's At-large congressional district ?
Montana Territory Montana Territory's At-large congressional district District
Montana Montana's At-large congressional district ?
Nevada Territory Nevada Territory's At-large congressional district District
Nevada Nevada's At-large congressional district ?
New Hampshire New Hampshire's At-large congressional district ?
New Jersey New Jersey's At-large congressional district ?
New Mexico Territory New Mexico Territory's At-large congressional district District
New Mexico New Mexico's At-large congressional district ?
New York New York's At-large congressional district ?
North Carolina North Carolina's At-large congressional district ?
Northwest Territory Northwest Territory's At-large congressional district District
Ohio Ohio's At-large congressional district ?
Oklahoma Territory Oklahoma Territory's At-large congressional district District
Oklahoma Oklahoma's At-large congressional district ?
Oregon Territory Oregon Territory's At-large congressional district District
Oregon Oregon's At-large congressional district ?
Orleans Territory Orleans Territory's At-large congressional district District
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania's At-large congressional district ?
Philippines Philippines's At-large congressional district ?
Rhode Island Rhode Island's At-large congressional district ?
South Carolina South Carolina's At-large congressional district ?
Southwest Territory Southwest Territory's At-large congressional district District
Tennessee Tennessee's At-large congressional district ?
Texas Texas's At-large congressional district ?
Utah Territory Utah Territory's At-large congressional district District
Utah Utah's At-large congressional district ?
Vermont Vermont's At-large congressional district ?
Virginia Virginia's At-large congressional district ?
Washington Territory Washington Territory's At-large congressional district District
Washington Washington's At-large congressional district ?
West Virginia West Virginia's At-large congressional district ?
Wisconsin Territory Wisconsin Territory's At-large congressional district District
Wyoming Territory Wyoming Territory's At-large congressional district District
Wyoming Wyoming's At-large congressional district District

-—Preceding unsigned comment added by Markles (talkcontribs) 16:40, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Could you explain how you mean to make the distinction? I don't know what you're proposing. -Rrius (talk) 17:12, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Comment Oh sure, just because we're getting close to finishing these off, you have to make a new task...

Oklahoma's 9th district[edit]

Yeah, I discovered that Oklahoma's 9th district was actually designated an At-large seat. It was not technically a numbered district, though it is the 9th of their districts and is listed last in the Biographical Directory. The Oklahoma's At-large congressional district article actually handles this in a pretty good way: it lists both instances where the state had at-large districts. We should probably have these articles renamed in the plural: "Foo's At-large congressional districts" and then list the various reps and timeframes when they took place.
I would prefer to make the OK-09 district redirect to an "at-large districts" article because I don't think the district was ever called the ninth district, except in the context that the state had 9 districts. In the case of PA, create the plural "At-large" districts article, then make a note on the 25th, 26th, and 27th district articles to point out that for a time Pennsylvania had that many districts and elected some congresspeople at-large and provide a link to the At-large district articles. --Esprqii (talk) 17:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I've just now deleted OK-09 for the reason you write here.—Markles 18:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
    • That's fine, but perhaps a redirect to OK-AL is in order? It was still seat #9. Was there no other useful info on that page that could have been salvaged? --Esprqii (talk) 19:10, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
      • No redirect. No articles should link to it. A few do right now, but as the system refreshes it will no longer be like that. —Markles 21:36, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Congress#Voting section[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Congress#Voting section. —Markles 18:11, 9 June 2011 (UTC) (Using {{pls}})