New Pa. Voting Map Could Affect Control of US House

It seems to boost Democrats' chances in newly drawn districts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2018 4:56 PM CST
Stickers for voters are seen on a table at a polling station in Wayne, Pa.   (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

(Newser) – Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections Monday, potentially giving Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the US House unless Republicans are able to stop it in federal court. The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered. The map was approved in a 4-3 decision, with four Democratic justices backing it and one Democratic justice siding with two Republicans against it. Most significantly, the new map likely gives Democrats a better shot at winning seats in Philadelphia's heavily populated and moderate suburbs, where Republicans had held seats in bizarrely contorted districts, including one labeled "Goofy Kicking Donald Duck."

Democrats quickly cheered the new map, which could dramatically change the predominantly Republican, all-male delegation elected on a 6-year-old map, per the AP. Republican lawmakers are expected to quickly challenge the map in federal court, arguing that legislatures and governors, not courts, have the constitutional responsibility to draw congressional maps. Meanwhile, sitting congressmen, dozens of would-be candidates and millions of voters have to sort out which district they live in barely a month before the candidates' deadline to submit paperwork to run. (Pennsylvania isn't the only state dealing with this.)

(Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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