Pennsylvania redistricting update
HARRISBURG, PA — A trial will begin on December 10 in Commonwealth Court to determine whether state lawmakers engaged in extreme partisan gerrymandering when drawing up the current districts in 2011. Because of an order from the Supreme Court, the Commonwealth Court must come up with a decision on the question by the end of the year.
The Supreme Court’s 4-to-3 decision overturned a lower court ruling that would have delayed the trial.
The timing is important because there will be primaries in May for the election in 2018, in which Pennsylvania members of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC and all members of the State Senate and House will be up for re-election.
With that as backdrop, the Pike County League of Woman Voters has announced it will hold an update on redistricting on Monday, December 11, at 5:15 p.m. at the Pike County Public Library Meeting Room at 119 East Harford St., Milford, PA. The public is invited.
The update will be provided by Fair Districts PA, a collection of groups and citizens that has been working to change the way voting districts are created in the state. According to the group, almost half of the state legislators support a bipartisan bill it has drafted. That bill would “establish an 11-member independent citizens commission comprised of four individuals registered with the largest political party in the Commonwealth, four registered with the second-largest party and three people not affiliated with either major political party. The commission would draw up both Congressional and state legislative district maps. It would take a majority of seven—with support from a qualified majority of Commission members—for a redistricting plan to win approval.”