Governor rejects new Pennsylvania voting map


The state Supreme Court set a Friday deadline for Wolf and the Legislature to present a new map for approval or the justices said they will draw one.

Pennsylvania's Democratic governor on Tuesday rejected a proposed congressional map drawn up by Republican legislative leaders to address political imbalances cited last month by the state's Supreme Court.

Under terms of a January 22 court order, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has until Thursday to tell the justices if the General Assembly has produced a map he supports.

On Friday, Republican leaders submitted their new congressional map to Governor Tom Wolf, but the political battle over the state's redistricting is still far from over.

If lawmakers are unable to turn in a map by February 15th, the Supreme Court will appoint a third party to make one. The two top Republicans defended their map and charged the governor with coming up with a new one that was better. The majority of our state's popular vote has gone to Democrats, but somehow Republicans manage to win a vast majority of the races.

Republicans involved in redrawn map did not consider voter performance.

What we know for certain is that the maps will be different the next time we head to polls in Pennsylvania.

A second, 4-3 majority held that new maps should be put in place in time for this spring's primary.

A Senate Republican lawyer said they did not write the new map to reflect voting trends, but Wolf cited Duchin and several other analysts who found that is exactly what the Republicans did.

The GOP leaders said that under their plan, less than one-third of voters would find themselves in new districts.

Asked which districts might see the biggest changes in competitiveness, he named the Fifteenth and Seventh, now held by Republicans Charlie Dent and Pat Meehan, neither of whom is running for reelection.

State Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118, Avoca, took issue with two state lawmakers out of 253 drafting the plan.

"There is not any standard in what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said or anywhere in federal government, in any court ever, that says competitiveness is a standard", he said. They said Saturday the map would divide populous southeastern counties for partisan gain.

Wolf's spokesman J.J. Abbott says GOP lawmakers are welcome to try again based on the governor's critique of their first try. "We continue to hope that a bipartisan consensus will emerge to give residents what they want - the end to gerrymandered districts and legislative boundaries that are more reflective of our diverse state", said Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania.

"There's a total of 68 townships in Pennsylvania that got split or divided, in a variety of ways, for their US congress person coverage". The court ruling came after voters from each congressional district and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in summer 2017 alleging the state's 2011 congressional map is unconstitutional.