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FairDistrictsIndianaCounty in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Indiana County and the Indiana Free Library is hosting a Draw the Lines (DTL) event on Saturday, April 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room B11 of the Humanities and Social Sciences building on the IUP campus. This event is free and open to the public.  

DTL is a rigorously nonpartisan organization with the goal of helping to foster a more public, transparent, accountable redistricting process that produces election maps voters can understand and trust.

Currently, in Pennsylvania and across the country, there is a push to end gerrymandering — the practice of dividing voting districts to give one party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible. But every 10 years, voting districts are redrawn. The next time our voting districts will be redrawn will happen after the 2020 census.

Citizens are working now throughout the state to urge our legislators to pass legislation that would appoint an impartial, independent citizens commission to direct the redistricting process, and this DTL event will help to spread the word. 

This event will engage and educate citizens about the redistricting process by providing attendees with the software and data they need to draw their own maps based on objective criteria like compactness as well as their own values and priorities. Attendees will also be encouraged to submit their maps to public mapping competitions which will be held by DTL twice a year through 2021. Cash prizes are given for the best maps drawn by high school and college students, as well as adult non-students.

DTL is an initiative to engage and educate citizens to prove to our elected officials that Pennsylvania citizens are ready, willing and able to draw common-sense political maps in a fair, transparent and accountable process just like legislators should be able to do.

To learn more about this problem and its solution, join Fair Districts and the League at this educational event. Participants should bring a laptop if possible. Light refreshments will be provided.

Fair Districts is a nonpartisan, citizen-led, statewide coalition founded in part by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania working to create a process for redistricting that is transparent, impartial and fair.

For more information about Fair Districts Indiana County and this event, email fdpa.indiana@gmail.com, visit https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/local-groups/indiana-county, or visit https://www.facebook.com/FDPAIndiana/.

For more information about DTL, visit drawthelinespa.org.