I’m always amused by the way ward and precinct boundaries are often drawn to fully encompass blocks of land that, for whatever reason, have no bearing on the outcome of an election. It of course makes sense to have all regions of the city belong to some district or another, but sometimes things get…a little silly.
Looking at the map of this week’s Democratic primary for Mayor of Pittsburgh, you might think Jack Wagner—who won only 24 precincts in the entire 15 wards of Central and Eastern Pittsburgh—somehow managed to pull off winning a district in Central Lawrenceville, and rather a large one at that.
However, upon closer examination, it turns out most of the people in that district…are dead.
(As an aside, the Garfield district just to the southeast, 10-19, was won by Wagner 23–22, with Wheatley getting 20. Similarly, 10 of the 19 districts Wagner won between the rivers are in Hazelwood, and his margins there are in the single digits. Not that it matters—there’s no electoral college here, just a straight vote count that Peduto won 52%–40%—but I’d love to see the map redone with shading…)