5 great reasons to finish and submit your map, plus instructions on submitting

Chris Satullo

Image Credit: Linda Breitstein

The deadline for submitting a map to Draw the Lines PA’s fall competition is 11:59 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12. We know you've got lots going on right now, so let us share with you Five Great Reasons to Finish Your Map.

DTL volunteer Sara Stroman helps students during a mapathon in Bucks County. | Image Credit: Linda Breitstein

Reason 1) Finishing something feels good.  Whether it's a school assignment, a novel, a Netflix binge, a marathon or that leftover pumpkin pie, finishing it makes your brain happy.  The science is clear.

Reason 2) You could win a prize.  So far, Draw the Lines has handed out more than $90k in prizes for great maps to people just like you from all over the state. Another $24K is up for grabs in this competition round.

Reason 3) It gives you something interesting to talk about at all those Zoom gatherings.  Maybe even show off your map and brag a little. Go ahead, you've earned it.

Reason 4) It'll catch your lawmakers' attention. We've seen it over and over. Elected officials will not say No to a meeting, phone call, or email from a constituent who has put in the time and the work to draw a map.  Use your map as leverage to make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you.

Reason 5) You'll strike a blow for democracy in our state. The next few months are do-or-die time for the quest to slay the gerrymander and get meaningful redistricting reform in our state in time for 2021.  Every map completed is a powerful message to Harrisburg that the people of Pennsylvania are done with gerrymandering -- and are ready, willing and able to do this vital job themselves.

We look forward to seeing your map.  So much that we're providing the following tips on how to submit your map, so that nothing goes awry at the last minute.

  • All maps need to have exactly 17 districts that are within the target population range and are contiguous. 
  • Once you think you’ve reached those three benchmarks, you can ask DistrictBuilder to “validate” your map. Once you get the green check mark, you can submit your map. Use this video to help with that process. 
  • Fill out all required fields (marked with *) on the submission form. For county, college students can list either their home county or the county where their college is.   Adult teachers or professors should enter as ADULT, not as ACADM or COLLEGE.
  • To complete the submission form, you'll have to include your personal statement, which can be in the form of an essay, a video, a slide deck or an audio file.  Here's another video to help with that. 
  • After you successfully submit your map, you'll receive a pop-up on the screen that invites you to share your map on social media. (Note, you will not receive a .zip file with your map.)

Judging of maps will be completed early in the Fall.  If you’ve won a prize, you will be notified by early-mid October.

If you run into any problems, let us know at info@drawthelinespa.org or by pinging us on Twitter @drawthelinespa

Can’t wait to see your map.  Be sure to get it to us by the deadline.

A mapper gets started at a DTL event in Lancaster.

Image Credit: Chris Knight, Lancaster Online