Another census has come and gone, and that means it’s time for redistricting. Each state legislative district must contain the same number of people. Every 10 years, legislative districts are redrawn based on census data. Unfortunately, the process for doing so does not prevent the new maps from being gerrymandered to give the current majority (Republican) party unfair advantage in elections. If we want fair elections, Pennsylvania needs to adopt a better process for redrawing legislative district maps.
Currently, district maps are drawn behind closed doors by a five-member team composed of the PA House Majority and Minority Leaders, PA Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and a chairperson these four select. PA residents do not have any say in the process, and the Governor does not have any veto power to stop gerrymandered maps from being adopted.
How to Stop Gerrymandering
The most important step is to change PA’s process for drawing legislative maps. We can do this by urging legislators to pass the Legislative Congressional Redistricting Act (LACRA), recognized in the PA House as HB 22 and in the PA Senate as SB 222.
If passed, LACRA would do the following and more:
- Allow for public participation in the mapping process, including holding public hearings and granting public access to the previously closed-door process.
- Require the mapping team to explain the reasoning behind their proposed maps.
- Require that new districts be compact and contiguous.
- Prevent voting precincts from being divided.
To learn more about LACRA (HB 22 & SB 222), visit Fair Districts PA.
What You Can Do
Contact your PA legislators and urge them to support HB 22 and SB 222! Let legislators know that you want them to put an end to gerrymandering so that elections can be fair.
To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them, visit PA’s Find Your Legislator tool.