Imagining the Adirondacks as the 50th state?

A fascinating new visual essay on the problems of the electoral college is sparking conversation.  It envisions what the 50 states might look like if they were drawn up on lines that put an equal part of the population in each.

The idea “ends the over-representation of small states and under-representation of large states in presidential voting and in the US Senate by eliminating small and large states” according to the map’s creator, Neil Freeman.

The states are named after major geographic features, which led to the dubbing of “our” state as Adirondack.  In this imagined equal-representation world, we’re bordered on the east by Casco and to the south by Pocono.

If nothing else, it is an intriguing visual representation of just how we break down as a society in terms of population — where we live, how our political boundaries no long reflect the demographics of our nation.

Check out the full article and the national map here.  I’m more or less on board with this idea.  My only question is whether Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau would insist on his village being the capital of this new state?



23 Comments on “Imagining the Adirondacks as the 50th state?”

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  1. Paul says:

    ” I’m more or less on board with this idea.” Now Brian as a journalist can you be “on board” with anything?

  2. Paul says:

    “no long reflect” Brian, I think you mean longer.

  3. mervel says:

    It is kind of cool.

  4. mervel says:

    Vermont gets totally screwed though.

  5. Brian Mann says:

    It actually puts Vermont back in its “natural” state in the 1760s – before the Green Mountain Boys screwed everything up! :)

    –Brian, NCPR

  6. Paul says:

    The “tidewater” is interesting. Salt lake is the major geologic feature in that one? No way. What about the Yellowstone valley and maybe glacier park? Salt lake, no way!

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    If you want tourists to visit it should be called either Lake George or Vermont. Clyde already proved that nobody knows the Adirondacks exist but nearly everyone can identify Lake George or Vermont.

    And forget about Thousand Islands, that is just a Cold War Era variation of Russian Dressing.

  8. Hank says:

    Imagine. Albany no longer has to focus its attention south to New York City.

  9. Rancid Crabtree says:

    “And forget about Thousand Islands, that is just a Cold War Era variation of Russian Dressing.”

    Okay Knuckle, you got my appreciation for that one. I just spit coffee all over the keyboard!

    It makes sense to me. Speaking strictly for NY and the Adirondack “state” it would be putting the whole agricultural/forestry/mining platform back on the table as it should be. It would in essence be a way to remove the urban influence that plagues us. Even though the idea is for representation, it also puts the agricultural/forestry/mining economies in a more suitable level of importance, or something like that.

    It’s a pipe dream.

  10. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Note to self- don;t walk away from a post and them hit the send button before proof reading.

  11. TomL says:

    Hawaii and SE Alaska united with Washington State? Yeah, I don’t see anything impractical about that {rolls eyes}.

  12. TomL says:

    Wouldn’t Adirondack State (as drawn) be dominated by the Throughway Corridor: Buffalo – Rochester – Syracuse – Albany. Maybe a bone thrown to Burlington, too. Although will never happen, if it did I doubt the St. Lawrence Valley and Adirondacks would be any better for it.

  13. Tony Goodwin says:

    The thought that Mayor Rabideau would want Saranac Lake to be the capital reminds me of the first year after the Olympic Authority under the leadership of Ned Harkness took control of the olympic venues. On April 1, the Post-Star ran a story announcing that the Adirondacks had seceded from New York, and in his first announcement, Governor Harkness ….

  14. Pete Klein says:

    This is news? This is a story? This is anything other than dumb?

  15. Mervel says:

    I find it interesting in that he utilized what would be a more even structure to our population to make these states and also I have lived in several of these areas and frankly there is a cultural feel to them that makes some sense with his map (not totally with his map but kind of).

    For example I grew up in South Dakota, which is in Oglala (I assume this is named after the aquifer not the tribe since the map covers the aquifer), but people in SD have much more in common with Nebraskans than they do Minnesotans for example. So it is kind of interesting. I think we have much more in common with people from northern Maine than we do with people who live south of Albany, things like that I find interesting from his map.

  16. Walker says:

    Just imagine the gerrymandering that would go on if Congress actually took this up! Don’t want to even think about it!

  17. newt says:

    This genius named the region surrounding Chicago, including the Chicago suburb where I grew up, as well as Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “GARY”.



    Are if all the state names are that ironic, I take no joy from being in ADIRONDACK.

  18. Two Cents says:

    where’s puerto rico? :)

  19. Kent Gregson says:

    It looks like this could clear up the confusion of business names. It would make the Adirondack region large enough to encompass almost all of the businesses that claim in their buisness names to be Adirondack this or that. I don’t think it would include Adirondack baseball bats, but it would include areas where hickory grows, so the materials for bats could be ADK. When the sea level comes up twenty feet will we have to do this calculation all over again?

  20. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Adirondack would include China?

  21. Two Cents says:

    yes knuck it would, but they’d rename it adilondacks. :)

  22. CJ says:

    I like it except…. we’re still stuck with Albany.

  23. Roger Marshall says:


    I’m not sure how the map was construed, but the Colonial boundaries have
    shifted a bit much on the side of the Yorkers!

    With respect to your subsequent comment on the Green Mountain Boys
    screwing things up [another Yorker idea], they were not in existence
    until the early ’70s. This brings to mind a question: Is the price still
    on the heads of Ethan Allen and his buddies?

    I should also point out that the Eastern part of the Adirondacks,
    Northern Vermont and Coos County in NH were all in The Republic of
    Vermont through the ’80s.

    That said, we’d be greatly honored if you were to visit us at the Ethan
    Allen Homestead, where we can tell you all about Ethan and his family,
    as well as 18th Century life.


    Roger Marshall, President
    The Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
    Burlington Vermont

    p.s. The Museum is open 10:00-4:00 Thursdays through Mondays from mid
    May to mid October, otherwise by special arrangement. See our website:

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