Check out the winning maps for our LACRA Values Mapping Competition!
This contest was set up to highlight maps drawn using criteria proposed in LACRA (the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act—HB 22/SB 222, as written).
The bills clarify values already embedded in the PA Constitution and in legal precedent:
While giving those values top priority, LACRA bills also add, as secondary priorities, criteria of importance to PA citizens:
One contest goal was to show that those principles could be met far more consistently than was seen in the 2011/2012 PA legislative maps. That was definitely the case in regard to compactness and eliminating split precincts. All maps submitted had far fewer split counties and less partisan bias. Current maps score well on Voting Rights Act requirements for majority-minority districts. Scores for responsiveness to voters raised questions, suggesting a need for further research.
Another contest goal was to show the need to hold priorities in tension. Elevating one value at the expense of others can yield maps that don’t serve voters or communities well. Several mappers did well in one area but with much lower scores in others.
While mappers brought their own knowledge of Pennsylvania to the task, most acknowledged that their maps would be stronger with more public input. Computers can generate maps that meet certain criteria or scores, maps that reflect communities and voters require specific knowledge of Pennsylvania regions, geography and transportation possibilities that can be found in public input.
The Statewide Community Mapping Conversation on August 18 allowed time for discussion of some of these issues, with expert mappers sharing their knowledge of map analytics and the need to balance criteria. Attendees asked questions and offered input in regional breakouts with experienced mappers.
Next steps will include drawing composite LACRA maps using aspects of winning maps and updated Census data, followed by a series of local and regional community mapping conversations to continue gathering feedback. When preliminary maps are made public, citizens need to be ready to offer feedback and advocate for better approaches.
Draft your own testimony and submit to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC)
Make a plan to attend in person or virtually to as many hearings as you can.
Draw the Lines Flashes of Insight values cards
Five Thirty Eight One Way To Spot A Partisan Gerrymander
FDPA Statewide Mapping Conversation (August 18)