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02/20/2018

Department of State Implementing PA Supreme Court’s Remedial Congressional Map

Harrisburg, PA – Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres today said the Department of State is taking necessary steps to implement the remedial congressional map released Monday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“The Department of State is well prepared for a new congressional map,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The department responded immediately to the Court’s decision and is implementing its response plan. Over the next few days, updated information and support will be provided to local elections officials and candidates to ensure a smooth and orderly process.”

The department is making the operational changes in plenty of time for the May 15 primary election.

“Voters will not see any changes in individual polling places and these changes do not in any way affect voters’ polling places,” said Torres. “Nor will there be any change in the rules in effect at polling places.”

As soon as possible, the department plans to post spreadsheets on its website that will allow individual voters to check the congressional district in which they reside under the new boundaries.

With the map and data files made available by the Supreme Court on Monday, the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation immediately began converting the data files into lists of precincts. This morning, staff began updating the elections system database with the new precincts lists.

Nomination petition packets will be available for congressional candidates no later than Thursday, and possibly as early as Wednesday. When nomination petitions are available, the Department will issue a press release and post an updated special notice to candidates on the Department’s website.  

Congressional candidates will follow a revised petition circulating and filing schedule approved by the court. The revised petition filing schedule, which applies ONLY to congressional candidates, allows for circulating and filing petitions from February 27 through March 20.

The Bureau is working simultaneously to update the voter registration database, the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE), so candidates can obtain updated voter lists from the Department or from appropriate counties. That work is also expected to be complete by the end of this week.

“In the meantime, there are 54 counties that lie entirely within a single district,” said Jonathan Marks, Commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation. “So candidates for most congressional districts will be able to identify significant numbers of voters even before the updated lists are ready.”

Where counties are split by the new map, the work of updating voter registration files in the SURE system is done by the County Boards of Elections.  The Bureau is communicating with the affected counties to ensure that they have the information necessary to enter accurate updates.

The Bureau has also developed a plan for temporarily administering two sets of precincts for the 18th Congressional District to ensure that the four counties involved in the March special election for that district are not adversely impacted. The March 13 special election will be conducted using the former congressional boundaries.

 

NOTE: Video and audio of an interview with Jonathan Marks, Commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, will be available for download later today in an email from the Pennsylvania Internet News Service (PINS). To register for PINS emails, cms@pacast.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:   Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

 

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