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Time to revisit gerrymandering

LEIGH-ANNE CONGDON

Mill Hall

As we move full swing into the election season, we might do well to reflect on how gerrymandering affects our ability to have fair elections.

As a reminder, gerrymandering is the manipulation of electoral maps for politic advantage.

It means that the politicians in power get to pick their voters instead of having voters pick their representatives. In other words, gerrymandering drastically reduces, if not eliminates, our ability to have fair elections.

Gerrymandering has been with us for a long time, but has become extreme in recent times due to the sophisticated mapping technology politicians can use to precisely choose who they want in or out of a voting district.

Pennsylvania has been considered the poster child for gerrymandering, and after a contentious battle over proposed legislation to end or at least mitigate the practice by having an independent nonpartisan commission draw our electoral maps, the congressional electoral maps ended up in the hands of the courts.

This is not a permanent solution.

After the next census, when our population numbers change, the maps will be redrawn once again by legislators protecting their own seats.

To take the map-drawing process out of the hands of all politicians, we need an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution requiring an independent commission to draw electoral maps for your State House Representative, your State Senator, and your U.S. Congressman.

The election of your Governor and U.S. Senators is not affected by gerrymandering because they are elected by the majority of voters statewide and therefore reflect the true will of the people.

The true will of the people should be reflected in the election of ALL your representatives in public office.

Contact your representatives and tell them to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania!

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