Pennsylvania enacts new legislative maps

Pennsylvania enacted new state legislative districts on Feb. 4, 2022, when the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted to approve new maps. The maps will take effect for Pennsylvania’s 2022 state legislative elections.

The commission approved the maps in a single 4-1 vote. House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R) voted no, while Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R), state Rep. Joanna McClinton (D), state Sen. Jay Costa (D), and chairman Mark Nordenberg voted yes.

The Pennsylvania Reapportionment Commission has existed since 1968. It comprises five members. The majority and minority leaders of the state House and Senate appoint four members. The other four members, or the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, appoint the fifth. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed Nordenberg after the four other members did not vote on a fifth member.

Following the approval of the maps, commission Nordenberg said, “I believe that we have succeeded by virtually any measure. […] Even if imperfect, these are good maps that are fair, that are responsive to the requirements of the law, and that will serve the interests of the people of Pennsylvania for the next decade.” During the drafting process, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R) criticized the maps, saying, “I see this map as extremely partisan gerrymandered. […] The map before us is nothing short of a danger to our system of government that upends established norms and the emphasis on local control and local voices that Pennsylvanians hold dear.”

Thirty-two states have adopted new state legislative maps and one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect as of Feb. 8. The state supreme courts in two states have overturned previously enacted maps, and 15 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. Thirty-seven states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census as of Feb. 8, 2012.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,338 of 1,972 state Senate seats (67.8%) and 3,158 of 5,411 state House seats (58.3%).

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