Harrisburg

Political wrestle in Harrisburg for redistribution | Pennsylvania Information | wfmz.com – 69Information WFMZ-TV

HARRISBURG, PA. – The new census gives some hope of correcting part of the Pennsylvania political system.

"We hope there is some balance this time around," said Carol Kuniholm of Fair Districts PA, a grassroots coalition working to end gerrymandering with redistribution. Every decade should be on everyone's lips about the reorganization of state electoral districts and congresses.

"If the public isn't paying attention, you won't have a say in the future as the gerrymander skill is so much better now than it was in 2011," she said.

Gerrymandering, a term first coined in 1812, intentionally redraws constituencies to keep a political party in power.

Whichever party is in control draws the voting cards. Republicans were in 2011.

Wendi Thomas, Republican at Bucks County House, has a bill to increase public transparency of the process.

"These districts should be drawn in a fair way that represents the people and holds our communities together where they are together," she said.

Doing so fairly has been a source of deep political debate.

In 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrawn the state's congressional maps and found them to be unconstitutional. However, he has not looked at the state maps, nor has he prevented gerrymandering from happening again.

Lehigh Valley Democrat Lisa Boscola has pushed for an independent commission to draw the maps, but admits there is no political appetite. She has a bill similar to Thomas in the Senate.

"I think you're going to see a slightly bigger compromise between Democrats and Republicans this year than you have seen in the last 10 or 20 years," she said.

"Republicans still control the state assembly, but the difference this year compared to 2011? A Democratic governor and a Supreme Court with a Democratic majority are balancing the process.

If not, those like Kuniholm will push for fair districts.

"If you remind us of our lawmakers, if you give us a bad card, you will face laws in every county in the state," she said.

The cards must be drawn up to the next area code.

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