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Townships recruited to fight gerrymandering in Pennsylvania

Townships recruited to fight gerrymandering in Pennsylvania

The maps were created to address the guidance provided by the Supreme Court regarding making the districts more compact and contiguous, Drew Crompton, chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, told reporters Friday night. State lawmakers in North Carolina have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Their map clearly seeks to benefit one political party, which is the essence of why the court found the current map to be unconstitutional", Wolf said.

The proposed map has drawn local opposition.

"Weatherly has a history of receiving help from whoever is there", Connors said while pointing out that Republicans like Barletta and state Rep. Doyle Heffley, and Democrats like Sen. She says the map has some of the same old problems, "We're still seeing too many splits".

The boundaries in this map of Pennsylvania congressional districts have been used since 2013. The Republican Party has dominating majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature, which normally controls the process of redrawing the congressional boundaries.

Montgomery County's total population of almost 800,000 should be enough for the county to have one dedicated representative in Washington, Rafferty told the board, because the average congressional district in the state contains roughly 710,000 people - but because of the current map, Montgomery County is now split between five different districts.

"We'd like to sit down and, if we can, get a compromise map", Dermody said. Essentially, they cut out blacks and made the First District "whiter" than it was in real life. These groups range from 5 to 14 members, with Democrats and Republicans holding seats - either by appointment or election - and similar numbers of non-party affiliated members.

Their map splits 15 counties as opposed to 23 in the 2011 map, and 17 municipalities instead of 66.

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The move comes less than a month after the state Supreme Court ruled that the 2011 maps were unconstitutionally slanted to protect the interests of Republican candidates and unfairly diluted the rights of Democratic voters.

The current 10th District includes all or parts of 15 counties in northeast and central Pennsylvania, including part of Lackawanna, all of Susquehanna, Wayne and Pike and part of Monroe.

Republicans involved in redrawn map did not consider voter performance.

"The 2011 map is the most gerrymandered map in Pennsylvania history", said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.

Most of Berks County would be placed in the 6th Congressional District, now served by U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, a Chester County Republican. "But it is still unnecessarily divided in places like Montgomery County", Hanf said.

The resolution authored by Fair Districts PA has been adopted in 49 municipalities in the a year ago - most recently in Upper Providence and Lower Frederick townships in Montgomery County. "It's a nonstarter. What they did was totally out of compliance with the Supreme Court order".

"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.