In 2017 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the previous map of PA voting districts had been gerrymandered beyond what the constitution would allow, causing the state to go through extensive district remapping.
Gerrymandering is a practice in which the party in power redraws voting districts in order to favor their party and constituents.
Though some have raised questions as to the morality of the practice, the process is still legal so long as it follows strict constitutional guidelines.
PA’s 2011 map, however, was viewed as an outlier by many in the state and federal governments.
During the inquiry into the issue, University of Michigan professor Jowei Chen stated that the map was an “extreme statistical outlier.”
Following extensive redraws and drafts, a new map was finally settled upon, and will now be tested in today’s state election.
Temple University professor of Political Science Michael Hagen told Temple Update that the new districts were drawn with “different criteria in mind”, and could create different results this time around.
The redraw also now divides Temple and North Philadelphia down the middle. The new PA 2nd and 3rd districts now lie on a border along broad street, dividing Temple into Northwest and Northeast quadrants.
“It seems likely that Philadelphia voters will have, in some respects, more sway over the outcome of these elections” Hagen stated when asked about the new Philadelphia districts.
Though this map will be in place during the 2018 election, the 2020 census will likely require further redraws.
Stay tuned to Temple Update for further details on election news and results.