I spoke with State Rep Paul Drucker this morning concerning State House Bill 2005. Rep Drucker introduced this legislation which would reform the legislative redistricting process in Pennsylvania. The proposed bill would change the redistricting process by reducing the opportunity for “gerrymandering”; ensuring compact and contiguous legislative and congressional districts; and provide for competitive elections throughout the state.
What is “gerrymandering”? Gerrymandering is the process of diving a region in which people vote in a way that gives one political group and unfair advantage. According to the League of Women Voters, Pennsylvania is the second-most gerrymandered state in the union.
State Rep Drucker’s legislation would establish a nine-person committee made up of the top eight legislative leaders from the House and Senate and one chairman appointed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Under the bill, the chairman would have to be a registered voter in Pennsylvania for at least two years, would not hold federal, state, or local office and would not have held a position within a political party in the previous 10 years.
State Rep Paul Drucker will host a House Majority Policy Committee public hearing on Thursday, January 28 at 2 PM at the Tredyffrin Township Building to discuss redistricting reform in Pennsylvania. Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster will co-chair the hearing with Rep Drucker. The public is not only encouraged to attend but also to offer comments.
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John, thanks for the link. The map is very interesting. While it is obvious from looking at the map that “gerrymandering” has occured, my question is…..what would b the correct way to divide up the districts since there doesn’t seem to be any natural break up? I guess what I’m saying is that at some point someone or some group has to decide the area grouping – and when that’s done it would have to favor one group over another. Is there a ” right way” to do it? Do you know what Drucker is thinking? Any guess? Thanks.
The only way to ensure we have legislative districts that make sense is to take the process out of the hands of politicians and elected judges.
To that end, then, the only real fix is an adjustment via a Constitutional Convention.
Letting political leaders be involved in this process is like letting an employee administer his or her own performance review.