New Map Splits Texas Into Five States, Again

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Neil Freeman is a civic planner and artist who puts out the engaging Web site Fake Is The New Real.

You never really know what you'll find on the site, but one of his recent efforts has started buzzing around the net, especially among political types frustrated with the electoral-college system.

Those political types can be Democrats or Republicans, depending on the most recent presidential results. Parties who moan after one election about the unfairness of the electoral college may very well see the wisdom in it come another cycle, with a different White House result.

Usually electoral-college critics talk about replacing it with a strict popular vote, meaning the annoying ads will air in the big cities as opposed to suffocatingly blanketing some crucial state.

Freeman has a different (and even more far-fetched, he admits) idea: Split the country into 50 states of approximately equal population.

"The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence," he says. "The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This allows for Electoral College results that don't match the popular vote."

So 50 states of about 6.1 million residents each is the answer, he says. It would look like this:

Before we get to Texas, how did Freeman come up with 50 new state names? The names "are taken mainly from geographical features," he says, such as mountains, rivers or regions with traditional names.

Like we said, Texas gets split into five states, which is the usual result of these exercises. Freeman's slicing, however, is a little different because it bleeds into other states:

Meet the states of Big Thicket, Chinati, Shiprock, Trinity and Houston.

First thing we noticed was that the upright Panhandle city of Amarillo is lumped into Shiprock with arty Santa Fe and decadent Las Vegas. Interesting state elections there.

We also noticed, of course, that Houston retains its own proud name while Dallas gets erased from history (almost, kinda).

Hopefully they take the Cowboys with them.

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