When I first of gerrymandering I thought “what the heck is gerrymandering?”.
Well I attended a meeting on the subject and discovered it is a manipulation of district lines to benefit a particular party or group. To my surprise and ignorance it has been going on for centuries dating back to 1800’s.
By using mapping data politicians can divide communities to their own advantage assuring them of being re-elected.
Is this fair? No. Can we the voters stop it? Yes.
As Americans we all want our elections to be fair and our votes to count.
When politicians oversee the process of redirecting district lines to keep voters together in different districts to benefit their re-election then some voices are heard while others are not. It is like herding cattle into a coral but instead its voters.
These lines are drawn to create districts that are safe for incumbents or to punish politicians who decide not to play the” party rules” and ensures the party has control for the next ten years.
You might ask? Why ten years. Every ten years the National census bureau recounts populations and that’s when the districts are drawn. This way politicians can pick their voters instead of US picking the politicians.
When the lines are drawn for a particular “party” that determines who has control and shapes legislative priorities and decides what bills get passed into law.
If these practice continues we will see more:
Gridlock in the Senate
Rewards for extreme positions instead of working together to find a common solution.
Shutting out new voices
Making accountability in government almost impossible because many legislators will run unopposed.
In Pennsylvania congressional and State legislative districts lines are decided by the State legislative
Our next census is 2020 so we voters have no time to lose. This whole process is slow to change so we must act now.. In Pennsylvania a constitutional amendment is initiated and approved by two successive legislative sessions, then it must be approved by the public in a referendum. AS of this writing legislators from both parties are working together on bills to address this.
Senate bill #22.
If approved this will make all districts equal, and prevent districts being drawn for the purpose of favoring one party over the other.
What can we do as voters. Support Bill#22. Call your members of congress and tell them you support this bill and want them to vote yes
Help educate others on gerrymandering and get involved any way you can.
Join groups to make a change. In Pennsylvania join www.FairDistrictsPA.com
Don’t give up! It takes time and some Senators will not be open to the idea.
This is our democracy and elections should be the will of ALL people and every vote should count!.