The League of Women Voters believes responsibility for redistricting should be vested in an independent special commission, with a membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government, including citizens at large, representatives of public interest groups, and members of minority groups.

Why it matters

Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. When done for purposes of racial discrimination or to ensure the dominance of one political party, gerrymandering runs counter to equal voting rights for all eligible voters.

What we’re doing

Our League in conjunction with the State and National  supports apportionment and redistricting based substantially on population of all voting districts, with additional consideration given to compact and contiguous territory and with respect given to municipal boundaries. 

We are working closely with Fair Districts PA and the goal is to create an 11-member commission in charge of both legislative and congressional redistricting. It would be charged with analyzing U.S. Census data, drawing district maps, and preparing a redistricting plan. The commission would be required to hold public meetings across the state before maps were drawn, and again after to collect public feedback.

We are supporting the following bi-partisian legislation designed to create one independent citizens commission in time for the next round of congressional and legislative redistricting following the 2020 U.S. Census.

  • HB 22 would amend the PA Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission for both congressional and legislative redistricting.
  • HB 23 would create an independent commission just for congressional redistricting.

With passage of HB 23 in the 2019-20 session, selection and training of commissioners could happen in early 2021. Because amending the Constitution means passing a bill in consecutive two-year sessions followed by a voter referendum, the earliest voters could approve a new commission for legislative redistricting would be the May 2021 primary election. At that point, the already-in-place congressional redistricting commission would be given the additional task of legislative redistricting in time for a November 2021 deadline.

What can you do

For additional information contact League Member, Marita Green