Pennsylvania Congressional Redraw 2022: Second Draft

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While congressional districts are allowed to have small population differences between districts, most states stick with a zero deviation. I still believe Pennsylvania would be best served by using some population variance to at least allow municipalities to remain whole and create more compact districts (which I described here).

Because many States prefer a zero deviation map, I took a second look at my original zero deviation map. In the end, I had two configurations — Version 0 A1 and Version 0 A2.

Here are some of the key changes:

  • District 1: The portion that comes from Montgomery County shifted further south. Upper Moreland is divided.
  • District 2: Ward 58 is no longer divided. The portion that comes from north of Broad Street is to keep Temple University within District 2 while minimizing ward divisions.
  • District 3: Some boundaries adjusted to accommodate changes to District 2 and 4, but it remains a majority minority district.
  • District 4: Several testified that they wished Montgomery County to remain as much in one district as possible. With the configuration of the surrounding counties, the balance of the population needed comes from north Philadelphia in this version (Ward 21 instead of Ward 58).
  • District 5: It changes the portion of Chester County combined with Delaware County. It keeps all of West Chester Area school district in one district. The remaining population comes from two neighboring school districts. East Whiteland and Kennett are divided.
  • District 6: I worked to keep municipalities whole and then tried to follow school district boundaries. In Berks County, I was able to keep all municipalities whole and only divided 4 of the 19 school districts.
  • District 7: Retained the core of Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Took all of Kutztown School district from Berks County plus some of the surrounding area and then part of Carbon County. Weatherly and Mahoning are divided in Carbon County.
  • District 8: A common configuration in other maps was to use the river in Luzerne County as an approximate dividing line. I followed this and tried to stay in the northeast part of the county for the remaining population. To achieve the zero deviation with no precincts divided, I had to include some townships from the east as well. No municipality is divided.
  • District 9: It keeps some county communities mentioned in testimony in the same district. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep Tioga County in one district while keeping with a zero deviation, no voting precincts divided, and limits to splits.
  • District 10: While my first map focused on keeping the community of Adams and York County together, this version considers the tri-county area of Cumberland, Dauphin, and York. It divides Derry Township in Dauphin County and Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County.
  • District 11: This district prioritized not dividing Lancaster or Lebanon Counties. To achieve this meant that Berks County was divided into three districts, with the balance of the population coming from Dauphin County.
  • District 12: Remains largely unchanged. It now includes Potter and most of Tioga Counties. In Cambria County, Johnstown is now in District 14. Conemaugh and Stonycreek are divided.
  • District 13: No longer includes Dauphin, Snyder, or Union. Instead it moves further west, including all of Blair County and part of Bedford County. Bedford Township is divided.
  • District 16 is unchanged from my original draft. I ran out of time to explore changes to the Butler County border. This version divides no municipality.

The last three districts — District 14, 15, and 17 — have two versions. The main difference between the two is the district which includes Pittsburgh.

In A1, Pittsburgh is with the southeast corner of the county (which is how it is currently placed in the map). This means that Washington County is divided between District 14 and 17. It uses the House amendment to the division in Washington County (which contains one additional municipal division to keep Washington whole).

In A2, Pittsburgh is combined with Beaver County. Then the remaining portion of Allegheny County is combined with part of Westmoreland County. This allows Washington County to remain whole.

A1 was more compact than A2 on both the Reock and Polsby-Popper ratings. Both plans could contain the same number of municipal divisions in this three district area. A1 creates 1 district completely within the boundaries of Allegheny County, while A2 has both districts in Allegheny County districts shared with neighboring counties.

Here are some key stats:

A1 A2
Split Counties 14 14
Total County Splits 17 17
Municipal Splits 15 14
Voting Precincts Split 0 0
Splits 37 35
Total Splits 42 40
Majority Minority Districts 1 1
Coalition District 1 1
Compactness
Reock 0.4054 0.3910
Polsby-Popper 0.2835 0.2753

Updated 2/18/2022

It is my hope that the Legislature and Governor will consider using even a small population variance to keep the places we live within one district. But if not, then I hope they will at least truly limit the places divided.

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