Ohio Secretary of State Announces Board of Education Districts; Democrats Object

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced this week that the state Board of Education district boundaries will conform to the plan Gov. Mike DeWine (R) issued in January, spurring objections from Democratic lawmakers.

Nineteen individuals sit on the state Board of Education, with 11 of them standing for election. Five of the elected seats are up in this fall’s general election and those wishing to run must file by August 10.

Read More

Senator Proposes Changes to Pennsylvania’s Redistricting Commission

Senator David G. Argall

State Sen. David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) last week proposed two constitutional amendments that would affect state-legislative redistricting in Pennsylvania. 

The first reform the senator wants to make would change the process for choosing the chair of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), which oversees remapping of the General Assembly’s districts every 10 years. Current law directs the state Supreme Court to pick a chairperson, effectively deciding which party controls the five-member commission on which the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state House and state Senate sit.

Read More

Ruling Prompts Pennsylvania Senate Legislation to Limit Court’s Redistricting Power

Senator David G. Argall

One day after Wednesday’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision imposing a Democrat-favored congressional map, state Senator David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) is legislating to limit similar future rulings.

Argall, who chairs the Senate State Government Committee, has asked colleagues to cosponsor a measure disallowing any congressional-district plan ordered by a court to remain in effect after the election cycle for which it was enacted.

Read More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Picks Democrat-Favored Congressional Map

Democrats celebrated and Republicans demurred Wednesday after the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court selected the state’s new congressional map.

In so doing, the court overturned a decision earlier this month by Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R) to allow implementation of a redistricting plan passed by the GOP-led General Assembly but vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf (D). The initial version of the legislature-approved map was drawn by a private citizen, Amanda Holt of Lehigh County, though legislators modified her plan somewhat.

Read More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Congressional Maps, Asked to Consider State-House Districts as Well

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, deliberating over oral arguments made last Friday, will soon decide the congressional-district boundaries that apply in next year’s elections.

State House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) has meanwhile asked the court to strike down a newly enacted map containing districts for his own legislative chamber.

Read More

Commonwealth Court Judge Chooses Citizen-Drawn Congressional Map Favored by GOP Legislature

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

Because Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and GOP-controlled legislature couldn’t agree on a congressional redistricting plan, a Commonwealth Court judge has stepped in and chosen one favored by the latter.

Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R), who was charged individually with selecting a new congressional map from among several proposed by state officials and nongovernmental actors, issued a 228-page report explaining her decision.

Read More

New Legislative Map that Aids Pennsylvania Democrats Is Finalized

Pennsylvania’s Legislative Redistricting Commission (LRC) on Friday finalized a new district map for state representatives that aids Democrats’ electability.

All three Democrats on the five-member LRC voted for the map, which is a modified version of a preliminary plan the same Democrats approved last month. Both Republicans voted against the plan.

Read More

Gov. Wolf Vetoes Pennsylvania Congressional Map

On Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vetoed a proposed new congressional-district map passed by the Republican-run state legislature.

The governor’s decision effectively turns over the selection of a new map to the state judiciary. The Republican-run Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has indicated it would intervene if Wolf and lawmakers failed to agree on how the new districts will be reshaped. But even if that court chooses the reapportionment plan passed by the General Assembly, Wolf’s party may ultimately get its way by appealing to the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court.

Read More

New Congressional Map Passes Pennsylvania Senate; Wolf’s Veto Anticipated

A proposed congressional map passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this month passed the state Senate unchanged on Monday, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

In urging colleagues to approve the redistricting plan, Senate State Government Committee Majority Chairman David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) emphasized that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has insisted on enactment of a new map by January 30. The court has indicated it will select a map if Gov. Tom Wolf (D) does not sign one by that date. 

Read More

Pennsylvania Legislature Must Pass, and Governor Must Sign, Congressional Map Monday to Meet Department’s Deadline

Pennsylvania’s Republican-led state Senate and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) must approve a congressional map Monday in order to meet a deadline set by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Last summer, then-Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenried (D) announced that her department wanted new congressional districts enacted before January 24 so election officials and candidates may adequately prepare for the May 17, 2022 primaries. Lawmakers redesign districts every decade according to population changes reflected in U.S. Census data, whose release last year stalled several months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Population trends dictate that the Keystone State will lose one congressional district out of its present eighteen. 

Read More

Pennsylvania Commission’s Redistricting Proposals Draw Ire for Gerrymandering

PA State Rep. Bryan Cutler

After years of Pennsylvania Democrats excoriating Republicans for gerrymandering, the 2021 Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s state-level redistricting proposals are drawing ire from members of both parties.

Republicans have broadly opposed the preliminary redistricting plan for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and at least one Senate Democrat, Lisa Boscola (Bethlehem), is incensed about changes to her chamber’s map.

Read More

Largely Citizen-Drawn Congressional Map Passed by Pennsylvania House Committee

By a nearly party-line vote of 14 to 11, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee voted Wednesday to advance a largely citizen-created map for congressional redistricting.

Lehigh County resident Amanda Holt submitted the map in its original form. The slightly modified version of the plan received the support of all committee Republicans except Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Macungie) and no Democrats.

Read More

Sumner County Using Redistricting to Make Unprecedented Changes to County Commission Structure

Sumner County schools virtual meeting

The Sumner County Board of Commissioners is using redistricting required every 10 years following completion of the U.S. census in 2020 to potentially make significant and unprecedented changes to the county commission districts.

Sumner County currently has 12 county commission districts with two commissioners per district, but redistricting has opened the door to making 24 districts with one commissioner per district.

Read More

Pennsylvania Bill Would Clarify That Courts Can’t Redraw Electoral Maps, as State Supreme Court Did in 2018

Legislation currently in the works in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would spell out two rules for redistricting in the Keystone State: Elections cannot legally take place in outdated districts and courts can’t create new districts themselves.

In Feb. 2018, the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court not only struck down Pennsylvania’s congressional maps as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, it reimposed new maps created with no input from the legislature, something state law does not grant the court the right to do. The new maps strongly favored the Democrats’ electoral prospects.

Read More

Tennessee House Committee Begins Redistricting Process

The Tennessee House Select Committee on Redistricting held its first of many meetings on Wednesday, starting the process of refitting the Volunteer State’s legislative districts to correspond to population changes. 

“Over the course of the next several months, this committee will work together to develop a fair and constitutional redistricting plan for the state House, Senate and Congress,” committee Chair Curtis Johnson (R-TN-Clarksville) said.

Read More