To qualify for the state championship, Kyle took 1st in the Central Region
It is astounding that Kyle, a Centre County high school student working independently, was able to create 14 competitive legislative districts, get a high compactness score - and the districts look so reasonable! In his excellent, thorough essay for the winning map, Kyle described how he tested his map under different election scenarios and paid attention to the Voting Rights Act. We were so impressed with how Kyle dealt with the party and racial concentrations in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia by what he called “spoking,” having districts radiate out from the cities. All in all, a remarkable effort, particularly given that Kyle created his maps on his own initiative, not as part of a school or club project. Kyle has proved the point of the Draw The Lines initiative: Informed citizens with access to census data and mapping software add tremendous transparency and value to the redistricting process.
In this map, I kept communities of interest together whenever possible, but competitiveness was the top priority. Fourteen districts are competitive, which gives the most Pennsylvanians a say in their delegation to Congress. It will also be heavily responsive to shifts in the electoral climate. In an eight point Democratic wave, like 2018, they could win up to 17 seats. In an eight point Republican wave, like 2010, they could win up to 15. It gives more people more of a say in elected officials, and it will make 78 percent of our members of Congress truly fight for their seats.
This was accomplished by spoking Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and connecting Democratic areas within rural central Pennsylvania to make competitive district. It complies with the Voting Rights Act, with two majority-minority districts.