UPDATE: Wolf Administration Reaction to Submission from Speaker and Senate President
February 09, 2018
Statement from J.J. Abbott, Press Secretary for Governor Tom Wolf:
“The court asked the General Assembly to submit a new map to the governor by February 9th.
“While the Court’s order did not appear to allow for two individuals to draw a map on behalf of the entire General Assembly, Governor Wolf will review Speaker Turzai and President Scarnati’s submission in consultation with the experts retained by the administration to determine his next course of action.
“The original map was fundamentally unfair in a multitude of ways and, from the court’s orders and majority opinion, it is clear the gerrymandering of the current map went beyond manipulating the shape of the districts.”
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Governor Tom Wolf Releases Statement on Redistricting Process
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement on the court-ordered redistricting process:
“Over the last three weeks, empowered by the Supreme Court’s initial order striking down the current map, I worked to build a team and knowledge base to make sure Pennsylvania can get a fair map. In that time, I have heard personally from voters in three townhall meetings across the state that drew hundreds of attendees and nearly a thousand citizens through our online feedback form.
“The consensus is clear that Pennsylvanians are fed up with gerrymandering – and the gridlock and lack of reform that it breeds. Gerrymandering means politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians, which undermines citizens’ role in our democracy. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was right on the mark: Pennsylvanians deserve fair maps, rather than those drawn solely to benefit a particular political party. I intend to do my part to implement the Court’s order and ensure that fair maps become Pennsylvania’s new reality.
“I have enlisted an esteemed mathematician, who has done extensive work on determining fairness in mapmaking, to provide non-partisan analysis of maps to determine their fairness. While an ideal scenario would be a consensus map that can garner the support of both chambers in the General Assembly and that meets standards for fairness, it remains unclear, at this time, if the entire General Assembly will be engaged in such a bipartisan process. If not, I will evaluate what options are at my disposal to ensure Pennsylvanians get the fair map they deserve under our constitution.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Jan. 22nd order, which dictates the process to remedy the current gerrymandered map, clearly states that if the General Assembly wants to submit a map that meets the requirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the General Assembly must send it for review by the governor by today, February 9th. Any change or new interpretation of that order and the schedule laid out is at the sole discretion of the court and no other party, including the governor.