It’s a problem in Pennsylvania, and across the country. In fact, a Washington Post columnist recently called gerrymandering the “biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United States.”
Here’s an excerpt from the piece, written by Brian Klaas, a fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and author of The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy:
There is an enormous paradox at the heart of American democracy. Congress is deeply and stubbornly unpopular. On average, between 10 and 15 percent of Americans approve of Congress – on a par with public support for traffic jams and cockroaches. And yet, in the 2016 election, only eight incumbents – eight out of a body of 435 representatives – were defeated at the polls.
If there is one silver bullet that could fix American democracy, it’s getting rid of gerrymandering – the now commonplace practice of drawing electoral districts in a distorted way for partisan gain. It’s also one of a dwindling number of issues that principled citizens – Democrat and Republican – should be able to agree on. Indeed, polls confirm that an overwhelming majority of Americans of all stripes oppose gerrymandering.
The rest of the piece is worth a read, and is available on the Washington Post website.
Pennsylvanians for Fair Elections is among a coalition of nonprofit organizations and civic-minded individuals who are working to help bring an end to gerrymandering here in the Keystone State. We invite you to join us in trying to make that change a reality—here’s how.