Governor Wolf Submits a Fairer Congressional Map to Supreme Court
February 15, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today submitted a map to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that combined features of legislative submissions but, according to an analysis by a gerrymandering expert, was statistically more fair than the Republican leaders’ submission.
“From the outset, I have made clear I wanted a map that was fair and removed the partisanship that Pennsylvanians have been forced to live under since the 2012 elections,” Governor Wolf said. “This map takes features from Republican and Democratic submissions, while still meeting the court’s orders and opinion, to provide Pennsylvanians with a fair map.
“While my preference would have been for the General Assembly to send me a fair map, I believe this map sets forth a new standard of fairness.”
Governor Wolf’s map, along with the Republican leaders’ submission, were independently analyzed by mathematician and gerrymandering analyst, and Tufts University Professor Moon Duchin’s analysis found that in sharp contrast to the Legislative Respondents’ Map, the governor’s map exhibited no partisan skew in comparison to over a billion randomly generated maps. It displayed all the characteristics of what it, in fact, is: a plan drawn with the sole goal of respecting the tenets of traditional redistricting criteria. Read Professor Duchin’s full report (PDF).
The governor’s map is fair, is constitutional, and complies with the court’s order. Further, the map accounts for traditional communities of interests and seeks to avoid cracking, packing and unnecessary splitting of regions. The map has the same number of overall splits as the Republican leaders’ joint submission but reduces the number of counties split more than once and no county is split more than three times.
The administration has provided a webpage with more information, including an interactive map, communities of interest narratives for each district, and map files for download.