Governor’s Blatantly Partisan Map Fails to Meet Court Criteria for Redistricting, Violates Federal Law

(HARRISBURG) – An analysis today of the Governor’s Congressional redistricting map provided to the PA Supreme Court shows that Governor Wolf designed a blatantly partisan map that fails to meet the criteria established by the Court, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-28).

  • A review of the Governor’s submission highlights that it is a partisan endeavor, clearly drawn solely to favor Democrats. To achieve this goal, Governor Wolf submitted a map that unnecessarily splits communities and violates federal law, opening the Commonwealth up to claims of intentional racial gerrymandering.

The Governor cracked African-American voters in Philadelphia and eliminated the state’s only majority-minority district, which is a violation of federal law. Under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Bartlett v. Strickland that there must be majority minority districts, which requires the minority group to constitute a numerical majority of the voting-age population. The Governor’s report also provides no evidence that voters who are Hispanic and African-American vote in similar ways.

    • In doing so, he ignores the NAACP request for maintaining black majority districts. The highest Black voting age population district is only 44.01 percent in the Wolf plan (compared to 53.32 percent for the Scarnati-Turzai Joint Submission).
  • Using 2014 gubernatorial voting records, when Gov. Wolf was the successful candidate, Wolf won 11 of the 18 Congressional districts under his plan. He won nine of the Congressional districts in the Scarnati-Turzai Joint Submission.
  • The League of Women Voters maintains that it filed this suit in order to take partisan politics out of the Congressional redistricting process. The Governor’s map clearly inserted politics into this process. Governor Wolf’s map illustrates that his definition of fair is simply code for his desire to elect more Democrats.
  • The Governor’s map also performs poorly when measuring the number of municipalities that will be split between Congressional districts. The analysis corrects mathematical errors made by Tuft’s University Associate Professor of Mathematics Moon Duchin, who was hired by the Governor to assist with his map and whose analysis was included in his filing. Professor Duchin omitted townships from her split count while other splits are entirely missing from her report.
  Joint Submission Governor Wolf 2011
Counties split 15 16 28
Municipalities split 17 40 49
Voting precincts split 17 27 26


Drew Crompton (Senator Scarnati) 717-787-7084
Neal Lesher (Speaker Turzai) 717-260-6495