• I study representation politics elections redistricting electoral reform gerrymandering election integrity institutions election law

    Carnegie Mellon University
    Headshot of Cervas

    Jonathan joined the Institute for Politics and Strategy in 2020 after receiving his PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. His Bachelor’s degree (also in political science) is from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His dissertation is a historical, quantitative look at the Electoral College and its consequences.

    Jonathan is a specialist in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In 2021, Jonathan served as the redistricting consultant for the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission. He was appointed to that position by a vote of the commission. The final plan received a bi-partisan vote and was upheld unanimously by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. You can see these plans here. He has also served as the assistant to a federal court Special Master in drawing remedial maps in three redistricting cases involving minority rights. The first of these was Navajo Nation et al v. San Juan County,Utah in 2017; followed in 2018-19 by Bethune-Hill et al v. State Board of Election,which involved the redrawing of one quarter of the districts in Virginia's legislative districts in the House Of Delegates; and in 2019-20, he worked on Wright v. Sumter County Board of Elections, a case involving school districts in a small Georgia County where former President Jimmy Carter makes his home. He has published several articles on both the elections and gerrymandering, and is a Research Associate at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. In July 2021, he was appointed 'map consultant' for the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

    Redistricting Case Involvement
    2022 NY Special Master

    New York

    Harkenrider v. Hochel (2022)

    I was appointed Special Master tasked with drawing the 2022-2030 NY Congressional and State Senate Maps.
    View my report here
    View Congressional Map here

    PA LRC


    Legislative Reapportionment Commission (2021-2022)

    I served as the redistricting consultant for the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The LRC developed state Senate and House of Represenative lines for the 2020 decade. Those maps were approved via a bipartisan vote, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously affirmed their constitutionality.

    Sumter County


    Wright v. Sumter County School Board (2020)

    As the Assistant to the Special Master, I helped redraw Sumter County's racially gerrymandered school board.

    San Juan County


    Navajo Nation v. San Juan County (2019)

    The Navajo Nation had been denied represenation in the county commission. My redraw allowed them to elect a majority for the first time in American history.

    2020 Apportionment

    Journal Articles

      Working Papers

        Other Publications

        • Wang, Samuel, and Jonathan Cervas. 2021. The GOP scared Latinos from the census. Now that may cost the party red seats. May 1, 2021. The Washington Post. Full Text

        • Grofman, Bernard, and Jonathan Cervas. 2018. Pennsylvania has to draw new congressional districts, but getting rid of gerrymandering will be harder than you think. February 9, 2018. The Washington Post. Full Text
        Email: cervas@cmu.edu
        Address: 5000 Forbes Ave.
        Pittsburgh, PA 15213
        Office: 387D Posner Hall