Editorial: Redistricting Reform in PA Can Make More Votes Count

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In the wake of Pennsylvania’s primary election, Philly.com again weighed in on redistricting reform efforts in the state – and why they matter – in a new editorial.

The piece begins:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has noted correctly that  ‘the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.’ In Pennsylvania, which nominated candidates for Congress and state Legislature in Tuesday’s primaries, that is not how representative government has worked for many years.”

The editorial then sums up what is so wrong with the way the last political boundaries were drawn:

“At the beginning of this decade, Republicans drew legislative and congressional district lines so masterfully – and questionably – that the state’s delegations don’t come close to reflecting the population they’re supposed to represent. Pennsylvania has about 4.1 million registered Democrats and 3.1 million registered Republicans. Yet Democrats have only 19 seats in the state Senate to Republicans’ 30 (with one vacancy). In the lower house, Democrats have just 84 seats to the Republicans’ 119.

 The Washington delegation is even more lopsided: Of Pennsylvania’s 18 House seats, only five are held by Democrats. There are other incongruities: The state’s U.S. representatives include not a single woman and only one member of a minority group.”

 The editorial also references the work of both a bipartisan group of legislators, myriad nonprofits and ordinary citizens who are proposing and advocating for a new, more fair, more transparent way to draw legislative and congressional lines in Pennsylvania through the creation of independent redistricting commissions.

It’s a must-read editorial for sure, one that can be accessed for free online.

Once you read the piece, you’re gonna want to take action – and fortunately, you can.

We invite you to join Fair Districts PA (a coalition to which Pennsylvanians for Fair Elections belongs) in supporting these reform efforts, and to sign our petition calling for independent redistricting commissions.

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