Team “Tidywitches” explored Prop 17, which would amend the California constitution to restore voting rights to people who have committed serious or violent crimes, who have been released from state prison but are now under state supervision (parole). Currently voting rights are restored after a person is released from state prison and has served their parole. While California has a huge population, there are many local elections in smaller-population counties where election outcomes are determined by a small number of votes. The team examined how many people are on parole in each county and how the restoration of their voting rights could have potentially influenced elections in five counties with high parolee numbers in 2018. Check out their interactive data visualization here.
Dr. Erica Orcutt received her PhD from the UC Davis Geography Graduate Group in December 2019. Her dissertation was on studying and modeling the habitat dynamics of the Mohave Ground Squirrel, which made her realize the fundamental importance of plants. She has been converted, and now works on remote sensing of plants in the Arctic for her postdoc in the Plant and Environmental Informatics Lab at UC Davis.
Laura Daly is a researcher and data analyst with Advancement Project California. Her research background is in civic engagement, election policy reform, and socioeconomic disparities, and she uses data to advocate for policy changes for more equitable outcomes. Laura earned her MA from the UC Davis Geography Graduate Group in 2017.
Sarah Byer is a Spatial/GIS Analyst with The Nature Conservancy in Nevada, and she specializes in spatial data science,cartography, and environmental remote sensing. Sarah earned her M.A. in Geography from UC Davis, designing a method to use satellite imagery to monitor drought-driven tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada mountains.