Berks

So many maps, so little time: Redistricting debate continues

Court has 4 days to review map submissions

WYOMISSING, Pa. - As the proposed redistricting maps keep flooding into the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, many don't feel like there's enough time to put together an accurate and fair congressional district map.

"Given the substantial uncertainty if not outright chaos currently unfolding in this commonwealth regarding the impending election," said Republican State Sen. Jake Corman, who represents the 34th District. "That's what we're heading for."

With just minutes before the midnight deadline, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf submitted his own map to propose the redistricting of the state's congressional districts.

The court ordered a new map after Democratic voters successfully sued to have the current congressional map thrown out, saying it favored Republicans.

Wolf's map is the seventh submission, after two filings by the plaintiffs in the case, and one each from state House Democrats, state Senate Democrats, Republican activists and Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.

Key differences include how many times Montgomery County is split up, which counties are packaged with the city of Reading. and whether incumbent congressmen are kept in their districts.

"I'm sure if we sit here, we could point out gerrymandering as they point it out in our maps. They got a nice picture of a bunny rabbit in Berks County," Corman said.

Beyond bunnies in Berks, Republican State Sen. Jake Corman said the whole process has him feeling more like a kid in a classroom.

"You know, it's not all us the students handing our homework in to the teacher and then the teacher grades and picks out the best one," Corman said. "That's not how Article One, Section Four of the United States Constitution lays out the process."

Corman pointed to a line in the Constitution that says the times, places and manner of holding elections are up to state legislatures.

Some Republican lawmakers are threatening a federal lawsuit over any map the court might draw.

As for candidates on both sides of the aisle, the big concern is where will they stand in May?

"We have many candidates out there trying to decide whether they want to run for Congress or not," Corman said. "They don't know what district they live in."

The state Supreme Court has given itself four days to consider the proposals and issue new boundaries.


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