There was a lot of talk about the problem of gerrymandering in the press this year. Early in 2018, identical bills to reform the process of drawing voting districts were introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. These bills would have created an independent commission to draw lines, rather than the current “winner take all” practice of letting political parties draw lines to prevent one or the other party from winning.
These two bills were supported by more than 50,000 voters in the state. They were formally supported by over 20 county governments and 269 municipalities, including Indiana Borough.
A bipartisan majority of legislators in both houses signed on as co-sponsors. These bills were the most widely supported of any legislation put forth in 2018.
And these bills died without being passed, like over 90 percent of the bills introduced by state legislators, because of political partisanship.
It’s hard to bring about change in large bureaucratic systems, but it’s necessary in this case. It’s really up to us as voters to keep working for reforms to strengthen our democracy.
So here’s a New Year’s resolution for all of us: Let’s pass redistricting reform in Pennsylvania.
Let’s talk with Rep. Jim Struzzi and Sen. Don White, who understand the effect of gridlock on small businesses. Let’s educate ourselves about the voting process and spread the word that reform is not only necessary but possible.
Together with the League of Women Voters and Fair Districts PA, we can pass legislation to make every vote count.