• Carnegie Mellon University
    Headshot of Cervas

    I study representation voting rights polarization politics elections redistricting electoral reform gerrymandering election integrity institutions election law

    Jonathan began at Carnegie Mellon University 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.

    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 served as Special Master for the state of New York in 2022 [Harkenrider v. Hochel (2022)] and drew the state's 26 Congressional Districts and 63 state Senate districts. 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 Electoral Innovation Lab.

    Journal Articles

      Other Publications

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

        • Pennsylvania has to draw new congressional districts, but getting rid of gerrymandering will be harder than you think.Bernard Grofman and Jonathan Cervas. 2018. February 9, 2018. The Washington Post. Full Text

      Working Papers

        Redistricting Case Involvement
        2024 WI Consultant


        Clarke v. WEC (2024)

        I was appointed court c0-consultant to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I was tasked with evaluating and reporting to the court remedial proposals submitted by parties to the case. The litigation involved a remedy for both the state Assembly and Senate maps after the Court found the prior maps consisted of non-contiguous districts in violation the state constitution.
        View Report:

        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.
        Special Master Report:
        View Congressional Map:
        Download High-Quality Map: (SVG) (PNG)
        Dave's Redistricting: (DRA)
        View State Senate Map:
        Download High-Quality Map: (SVG) (PNG)
        Dave's Redistricting: (DRA)

        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.

        Allen v. Milligan


        Allen v. Milligan (2023)

        I submitted two remedial plans for the court's consideration.
        Memo to the Special Master:
        View 2021 Plan - Minimal Change:
        Download High-Quality Map: (SVG)
        Dave's Redistricting: (DRA)
        View 2023 Plan - Minimal Change:
        Download High-Quality Map: (SVG)
        Dave's Redistricting: (DRA)

        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.



        Moore v. Lee (TN)

        I am an expert witness for the plaintiffs. I have filed five reports regarding either the TN House or TN Senate. See here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

        New Mexico

        New Mexico

        Republican Party of New Mexico v. Oliver (NM)

        I wrote an amicus brief in support of neither party: Amicus Brief

        2020 PA House


        Email: cervas@cmu.edu
        Address: 5000 Forbes Ave.
        Pittsburgh, PA 15213
        Office: 387D Posner Hall