Do you know what Gerrymandering is? A public comment session on Congressional Redistricting will be held in State College and Mansfield -…

Posted: November 1, 2021 at 7:26 am

Harrisburg, Pa. -- The idea of Gerrymandering is as old as the country itself. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, "Gerrymandering describes the intentional manipulation of district boundaries to discriminate against a group of voters on the basis of their political views or race."

Pa. has long been politically gerrymandered at the hands of politicians whose only goal is to stay in power, and members of the Pa. Redistricting Advisory Council have been holding listening sessions across the state to gather public feedback on congressional redistricting.

The opinions of Pennsylvanians must be heard as the legislature prepares to draw new congressional district boundary maps," said Gov. Tom Wolf.

"The decisions made through the redistricting process will affect every person and community in Pennsylvania for the next decade. Reviewing the maps is one of my most important acts as governor and I take that responsibility extremely seriously," Wolf said.

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Created by anexecutive ordersigned by Wolf on Sept. 13, the six-member council is comprised of redistricting experts who will provide guidance to Wolf and assist his review of the congressional redistricting plan, which will be passed by the state legislature later this year.

The administration said the council will review redistricting processes in other states that reduce gerrymandering, develop factors to determine if a plan improves the integrity and fairness and prevents the dilution of a persons vote, then offer "recommendations to ensure that districts are compact and contiguous to keep communities together and ensure people are proportionally represented."

"I have long believed that gerrymandering is wrong, and politicians should not use the redistricting process to choose their own voters. That is why I have tasked the advisory council with listening to people and providing their expert advice to me so that I can better evaluate the maps in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians," Wolf added.

In addition to the council and the listening sessions, the Wolf administration said they created aredistricting website the public can use"to submit proposed maps, outline communities of interest, and submit comments to help shape the outcome of this critical part of our democratic process."

The release by the administration said Wolf "has long fought to modernize our elections to remove barriers to voting, and improve the process for citizens and election officials."

In 2019, Wolfsigned a law"with the most significant improvement to Pennsylvanias elections in more than 80 years." Act 77 of 2019, "created the extremely popular option to cast a ballot by mail without an excuse and provided more time to register to vote, among other enhancements," according to the administration.

The administration secured $90 million to assist counties with purchasing new voting systems with a paper trail and modern security. The state also created the option for people to register to vote, or update their registration online for the first time, which more than 3 million people have used, the release from the administration added.

State College:

When: Monday, Nov. 1 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Penn State Main Campus at HUB-Robeson Center, 201 Old Main St., University Park, Pa., 16802

Mansfield:

When: Wed., Nov 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Manser Hall at Mansfield University, 31 S. Academy St., Mansfield, Pa., 16933

To attend the public listening session, citizens are asked to RSVP with your name and event date to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs atOIARSVP@pa.gov

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Do you know what Gerrymandering is? A public comment session on Congressional Redistricting will be held in State College and Mansfield -...

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