Local Township Ready to Give Gerrymandering the Boot

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Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District, which cuts through five counties, is considered the poster child for gerrymandering. Map courtesy of Keystone Crossroads.

Whether or not the Seventh Congressional District looks like Goofy kicking Donald Duck, East Marlborough Township is ready to kick gerrymandering out of politics.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors endorsed state House Bill 722, which would change how political districts are redrawn by delegating the task to an independent council rather than the ruling party, according to a Chester County Press report by John Chambless.

“I think we can agree that gerrymandering is a bad thing,” said Fair Districts PA representative Ron Whitaker. “Three months ago, a study was published that put Pennsylvania in the top three states for gerrymandering. Last month, there was an article published in Fortune magazine that bumped us up to No. 1. Gerrymandering is intended to create safe districts and safe seats for politicians.”


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But the unintended consequences of a district that, like the Seventh, “ranges from blue-collar and working-class households in the southeastern portions of Delaware County to rural Berks and Lancaster counties to the affluent households of Chester County,” are an eventual erosion of people’s voices.

“Voters come to realize that their votes don’t count, so they stop voting,” Whitaker said. “People who might run against those politicians have to consider that it’s going to be very expensive, and they’ll probably lose, so they step aside. What we get is a populace that doesn’t vote, politicians that don’t care, and candidates that can’t afford to run. That’s not democracy.”

Read more about the effort to end gerrymandering in the Chester County Press here.

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