The Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) has approved preliminary maps for House and Senate districts. House maps were approved by a vote of 3-2. The Senate maps were approved by a vote of 5-0. The public has 30 days to file exceptions and comments to the maps. Thereafter, the LRC will vote on final maps. Appeals to the maps go to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- A video of an LRC Meeting and Chair Nordenberg’s explanation of the process and the maps can be viewed here.
- The House map can be viewed here.
- The Senate map can be viewed here.
- An article in Spotlight PA explains the scoring of the House map.
- Click here to find out where your residence will fall in the proposed districts.
Congressional Redistricting is accomplished by the General Assembly. Preliminary Maps were approved by the House State Government Committee (HSCG). The Senate State Government Committee has not approved any maps. The House and Senate would have to approve the same maps and then it would go to Governor Wolf for approval or veto. There is no set time frame established for this process. Click here for the link to the congressional maps approved by the HSGC.
Gerrymandering hurts the democratic process in many ways
- Safe “red” and “blue” districts send more extreme candidates to Harrisburg and Washington, increasing partisan divides.
- Districts stretch over several municipalities and larger geographic areas make it difficult for representatives to maintain relationships with the communities they represent.
- Politicians in soft “red” and “blue” districts have little incentive to respond to their constituents.
NOT RED, NOT BLUE, JUST FAIR
Fair districts must:
- Adhere to all Constitution and Voting Rights Act requirements
- Make all districts as equal in population as possible within an established minimal range of deviation
- Respect city and county subdivisions, natural geographic features and communities of interest
- Encourage geographical compactness
- Not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against a political party or candidate
Redistricting reform should:
- Assign the redistricting power to an independent commission, of which neither the commissioners nor members of their immediate families may be government or party officials
- Ensure the transparency of the process and meaningful opportunities for public participation
- Establish strict timelines for redistricting after each U.S. Census
- Address other causes of redistricting unfairness
Greater Transparency and More Public Engagement
- A user friendly website for free public access to data, maps and all redistricting information
- Multiple statewide public hearings before and after redistricting plans are approved
- Meetings that are all subject to the open meetings law. Hearings must be live-streamed, held at convent times for the public and accommodate multiple languages
- The ability to submit a redistricting plan or part of a plan which the committee must review (this applies to all Pennsylvanians)
- A written report of decisions, rationale and process
Clear and Measurable Redistricting Criteria
- Mandates compact and contiguous federal and state districts
- Adds enforceable limits on splitting counties beyond what is required by population and bans dividing voting districts
- Protects racial and language minorities against discrimination in the mapping process
- Outlaws district plans designed to protect incumbents or discriminate against political parties
- Promotes keeping communities of interest intact