Redistricting Testimony Update


On May 12, I (and some fellow petitioners) submitted updates to our May 2 testimony. These included a third house plan (that tried to more closely match what the boundaries they proposed minus the fragmentation), legal descriptions for all 6 maps, and technical corrections.

Here is how we explained it in our letter:

We continue to take exception to the excessive number of avoidable political subdivision splits found in both the Senate and House portions of the Revised Preliminary Plan. We submit the following additional testimony along with technical corrections to the maps and data in our original testimony (given to the LRC on May 2, 2012). Technical corrections were made to Senate Alt 1 as well as House Version 1 and 2.

Newly submitted is House Version 3, which makes an effort to more closely align with the district boundaries proposed in the Revised Preliminary Plan. If the fragmentation in the Preliminary Plan prevented matching the district, then consideration was given to school district boundaries, roadways, and driving times.

As was stated in our May 2 testimony, these additional divisions in the House plan are not even justified on the non-constitutional consideration of the residence of incumbents. With only seven additional total splits beyond the 62 I proposed, all but three incumbent residences might be accommodated.

The data from House Version 3 was added alongside House Versions 1 and 2 in the Exceptions section of our testimony. The maps and minority-majority district details on Version 3 are included as an addendum at the end of the document.

Note on Lancaster City
It should also be noted that while keeping County Seats all in one house district was a priority, this was not possible in the case of Lancaster City because of contiguous issues. Lancaster City has a population 59,322. Four voting districts intersect with the city with a collective population of 10,988. Excluding these voting districts from the Lancaster City will create a non-contiguous district. The combined population of these (70,310) exceeds the allowable size of a House District.

To address this issue, either the voting districts or the city must be divided. Since dividing a voting district is never preferable, the city was divided instead (allowing all voting districts to remain whole). This is the solution used in all three submitted House versions.

Public comment ended on May 14. The Commission now has 30 days to create and vote on a final map. The 30 days are up between June 11 and 13 (depending on how days are counted).

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