Fair Congress cards are possible, highlights examples without Gerrymander
Press release, Redistricting
Governor Tom Wolf today introduced two redistricting maps as examples of new congressional district boundaries that comply with the Redistricting Advisory Council of Pennsylvania Principles, without gerrymandering and in full accord with the Voting Rights Act and the precedent of the Supreme Court of the United States and of Pennsylvania.
“Throughout the congressional redistricting process, I have publicly set out the requirements of a fair map that I would consider signing,” Governor Wolf said. “Although the House Republican map does not follow these basic principles, I highlight two maps that do.”
Following the House’s adoption of a congressional redistricting map this week that does not follow the redistricting principles outlined last year by the council, today the governor provided his own map and put in highlight a citizen-created congressional redistricting map as examples of maps he would support to move this process forward.
The Governor’s Card
Decisions on where to draw new boundaries were made, first and foremost, in accordance with neutral criteria of compactness, contiguity, minimizing the division of political subdivisions, and maintaining population equality. between congressional districts. These requirements, as interpreted by the Supreme Courts of the United States and Pennsylvania, implement the fundamental right to vote and the Free and Equal clause of Article I, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the latter being intended by the framers of the Constitution to guarantee, to the greatest extent possible, the right of voters to equal participation in the electoral process for the selection of their representatives in government.
Overall, this map maintains some continuity with the current Congressional map, while making targeted changes to conform to the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions and to align with the redistricting principles recommended by the Council. redistricting advisory and comments received from the public.
Developed by thousands of Pennsylvanians, the Citizens of Pennsylvania Map represents the voices of more than 7,200 Pennsylvanians who have participated in mapping contests hosted by Draw the Lines over the past three years, the first time a group as number of citizens came together to contribute to a cutting map. The Citizens Map draws on more than 1,500 map submissions to balance the values mappers have deemed important throughout the process. Although the Citizens’ Map differs from the Governor’s Map in areas, both are consistent with the principles recommended by the Redistricting Advisory Council. In particular, the Citizen Card is accompanied by a extended narrative why key decisions were made the way they were.
“The map that I developed and the Citizens of Pennsylvania map show that there are multiple maps that can be created in accordance with the redistricting principles that we announced months ago,” Governor Wolf said. “Each of these maps meets the neutral criteria of compactness, contiguity, minimizing the division of political subdivisions, and maintaining equality of population among congressional districts, as set forth by the Supreme Courts of the United States and of Pennsylvania, while preventing the unfair dilution of any group vote for a representative in Congress.
The governor believes Pennsylvania needs to have a fair map and politicians shouldn’t use redistricting to choose their own voters. Unfortunately, however, Pennsylvania does not have an independent redistricting process. As part of the governor’s commitment to transparency, he created the Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council in September. The council’s six redistricting, political science and mapping experts held eight in-person listening sessions and one virtual listening session in October and November to gather feedback from the public. The board released a set of redistricting principles in late November to help inform and guide General Assembly selection and the governor’s consideration of a map.
Redistricting Principles seek to prevent gerrymandering and ensure constitutional requirements are met by calling for districts to be nearly equal in population, to be compact, to minimize subdivision divisions except where necessary to protect communities from interests and encourage competitive elections by responding to changes in voters. preferences.
“The decisions we are about to make involve fundamental constitutional rights and will affect every Pennsylvanian for the next decade,” Governor Wolf said. “It is imperative that everyone has a voice in this process and continues to provide feedback. I encourage the Legislature to review these maps and negotiate in a bipartisan fashion to send a fair map to my office.
All citizen map submissions and public comments are available on the Wolf Administration website. Pennsylvania Redistricting Public Comment Portal. The public can also share written comments to ensure their voice is heard in this once-a-decade process.