Here's what the new Pa. congressional map could look like

Voting systems in PA must now provide paper record

Members of Congress, dozens of first-time candidates and millions of registered voters may find themselves living in a new district, a month before the deadline to file paperwork to run in congressional primaries.

But top Democrats in the state House and Senate are already urging Governor Tom Wolf to reject the plan outright. Wolf has until Thursday, Feb. 15 to approve a map and submit it to the court for consideration. The Turzai-Scarnati map would split 32 counties and municipalities, 62 fewer than the 2011 map.

"Unless the Supreme Court changes the rules again, that map is per se constitutional", Crompton said.

They shifted whole counties and cities into different districts and produced contorted boundaries in an effort to protect a Republican advantage in the congressional delegation. It will be used for the May 15 primary, but not for the March 13 special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Traditionally, state lawmakers draw congressional maps with an emphasis on protecting sitting lawmakers.

Wolf's office has said it may not comment on the GOP proposal until Monday. But it would also mean that Democrats would lose their best shot to unseat Costello in the kind of educated, suburban district where they see a chance to flip a seat. The Chester County Democrat is now running in the Sixth District against Rep. Ryan Costello, but her home in Devon would be moved to the neighboring Seventh District, centered on Delaware County.

The decision stemmed from a legal challenge by a group of 18 Democratic voters and the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters.

- Republican Rep. Lou Barletta's 11th District was sent plunging an extra 75 miles into south-central Pennsylvania from its longtime home in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan, of Devon, now lives in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, centered on Chester County.

Meehan, Dent and Barletta aren't running for another term. But the next time one party controls the levers of power as it did in 2011, we're likely to see a map as grotesque as the current one. Under a new map, that could change.

"The districts are compact". It now runs some 100 miles from the OH border past Johnstown in a shape the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called "a malnourished hammerhead shark winding through six counties".

Republican leaders, in a court filing late Friday, struck a defiant tone, saying they retained the right to file appeals or to "pass a new plan to replace any plan the court adopts".

Attorneys for the Republican leaders argued in their court filing that "the world is not divided neatly into Democrats and Republicans, and Democrats and Republicans are not evenly geographically distributed across the Commonwealth following county and municipal lines".

Samuel Wang, a Princeton University neuroscientist who runs the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, said it's clear that mapmakers attempted to exploit the state's natural clustering of Democrats into urban areas. For instance, four districts remain heavily packed with Democratic voters.

A spokesman for state House Democrats said their analysis of the GOP proposal indicates Republican President Donald Trump would have collected more votes in 13 of 18 districts, one more than he actually did win.



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