Pennsylvania map debacle continues after new map drawn

Pennsylvania map debacle continues after new map drawn

Pennsylvania map debacle continues after new map drawn

Governor Tom Wolf has rejected the new congressional map proposed by state Republican leaders.

On Friday, state Republican leaders submitted their new congressional map to Governor Wolf to approve.

Wolf has until Friday, February 16th to submit a map to the state Supreme Court which said the previous map was unconstitutional.

Governor Wolf has until Thursday to accept the redrawn map.

"The analysis by my team shows that, like the 2011 map, the map submitted to my office by Republican leaders is still a gerrymander", the governor said in a statement. The map, drawn after the state Supreme Court ruled that the current map is unconstitutional, divides 17 municipalities statewide.

The map by House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati would reduce dozens of municipal or county divisions while keeping almost 70 percent of state residents in their existing districts. But Corman says there's no time under the court's deadlines for Pennsylvania's Legislature to pass a new map.

Senate Republican Caucus spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher defended the map Monday.

"Pennsylvania Republicans have drawn a new congressional map that is just as gerrymandered the old one", the Washington Post wrote, in a quote provided by Wolf. A court-drawn map would nearly certainly result in more Democratic-held seats-potentially as many as two to three more.

Take the three local congressional districts.

Under the 2016 districts, President Donald Trump won in 12 of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts.

While the new lines are still up in the air, Democrats are expected to benefit from the redistricting and political observers predict them picking up three to five seats.

"The map ... preserves Republicans' 13-to-5 congressional district advantage and manages to target two of the Democrats' strongest congressional challengers". They could consider proposals by Wolf, state lawmakers and other parties to the gerrymandering case.

Mapping efforts in the last 20 years have become very sophisticated, and "use mapping technology and big data to profile voters, and use that information to pick exactly who they want in or out of a voting district", according to the Fair Districts PA web site.

"The constitution directs the Legislature to draw the map and to have it signed by the governor", Eichelberger said, adding he thinks the court has no expertise to redraw the map.

The state Supreme Court ruling is the latest of several recent court decisions condemning the practice of gerrymandering.

"In addition, it's the lowest amount of splits among counties of any map since 1971 where we had to comply with one person, one vote", he said.

Some of those lopsided results - such as in the 6th and 7th districts - are in Southeast Pennsylvania where the voter registration trend has been moving away from Republicans and towards Democrats.

The current 10th District includes all or parts of 15 counties in northeast and central Pennsylvania, including part of Lackawanna, all of Susquehanna, Wayne and Pike and part of Monroe. If he doesn't, the State Supreme Court will adopt its own plan.

"As a league member, I am very happy with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision", said Jean Harris, University of Scranton political science professor.

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