Redistricting

Two Fast-Tracked Court Cases Could Change The Political Face Of Pennsylvania

Nov 15, 2017
Keystone Crossroads

With drastic changes to Pennsylvania’s political landscape hanging in the balance, two lawsuits challenging the state’s congressional map are moving forward at rapid speed — one in state courts, the other in federal.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Several activists were arrested Monday while blocking a hallway during a rally at the state Capitol.

Many had just finished a three-day walk from Lancaster to Harrisburg—the second one they’ve done this year.

The group’s goal is to call attention to stalled bills that would ban gifts to lawmakers and seek to make the redistricting process less partisan.

The walk to the Capitol was 36 miles, and temperatures fell below freezing at times.

But when the March on Harrisburg group reached the Capitol, their energy was high

Justices Order Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit To Proceed

Nov 10, 2017
Googlemaps

A state-level challenge to how congressional districts were drawn by Republicans six years ago will proceed on a compressed schedule, a closely divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The Supreme Court's 4-3 decision overturned a lower court judge's ruling last month that had put the dispute on hold.

Min Xian / WPSU

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to put on ice a federal lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's congressional districts approved after the 2010 census.

Google Maps

Republican leaders in Pennsylvania's General Assembly on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put on ice a federal lawsuit challenging the state's congressional districts approved after the 2010 census.

House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati asked Justice Samuel Alito in a filing for a stay of the lawsuit by five Pennsylvania voters against the governor and elections officials.

Voter Advocates Urge PA Senate Leader To Reform Redistricting Process

Oct 20, 2017
Min Xian / WPSU

Fair Districts PA delivered postcards collected from constituents to State Senator Jake Corman’s office in Bellefonte on Thursday, urging the Republican majority leader to to pass legislation to reform the redistricting process in Pennsylvania.

About 25 members and supporters of Fair Districts PA gathered in the parking lot outside Corman’s office with over 500 postcards stapled onto a giant board.

“The districting process in Pennsylvania is rigged and we need to stop that,” said Toby Short, a volunteer for the advocacy group.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Advocates for overhauling the redistricting process packed the Capitol rotunda Tuesday hoping to persuade lawmakers to take their quest seriously.

Pennsylvania's congressional districts are considered among the most unfair in the country.

Maryland To Pennsylvania (And 4 Other States): We'll Redistrict When You Do

Apr 4, 2017
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President Donald Trump, a Republican, won Pennsylvania by a narrow margin of 68,000 votes. The state has about 900,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. 

Gerrymandering Battle Draws A Crowd In PA

Mar 1, 2017
Dave Davies / WHYY

Could a citizens' group defy tradition and change Pennsylvania politics?

Fair Districts PA, which has taken on the issue of gerrymandering in state political boundaries, is at least making some noise.

Legislative Data Processing Center

 A proposed bill is looking to change how Pennsylvania draws its legislative and congressional districts

The bill’s sponsor, Monroe County Republican David Parker said the measure would cut down on gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is prevalent in Pennsylvania—it’s when legislative maps are drawn to benefit a political party.

Parker said the ultimate results don’t benefit constituents.

“When these districts become so large and kind of snake around and are odd shapes, it’s difficult for them to truly represent everybody in the whole district,” he said.

Plan Would Take Politicians Out Of Redistricting

Jan 25, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s next redistricting effort is five years away, but one state lawmaker is already thinking about changing how it’s done.

Sen. John Wozniak (D-Cambria) plans to propose an overhaul that would take politicians out of the process of redrawing district lines to accommodate population changes.

Wozniak echoes the observations of pollsters and political science professors when he talks about partisan redistricting, and how Republican control of the process for the past two cycles has yielded GOP pickups and, Wozniak believes, more ideologically extreme candidates.