A voter tests an electronic ballot machine during 2019
POTTSTOWN PA – Chuck Yeiser, chairman of the Lower Frederick Board of Supervisors and well known as a proponent of electoral redistricting in Pennsylvania, will be the featured speaker Feb. 8 (2020; Saturday) during an organizing meeting for Fair Districts PA, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown from 2-4 p.m. at the fellowship hall, 1565 S. Keim St.
In his talk Yeiser is scheduled to explain Pennsylvania’s current redistricting process; demonstrate how “gerrymandering” – purposely drawing districts to obtain specific political results – undermines democracy; and propose what the Fair Districts group promotes as a solution to the problem.
Fair Districts PA supports amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to assign redistricting power to an independent citizens’ commission, rather than continue it as a primarily political exercise. “Commissioners would be randomly selected from a list of qualified candidates, who would be held accountable to make the redistricting process fair, transparent and provide for meaningful public input,” it said in a media statement.
The group cites Pottstown as an example of poor redistricting. Rather than have all borough residents represented by single elected individuals in the state House and Senate, the group notes the borough “has been divided among three state representative districts, and two senate districts,” even though such divisions are prohibited by the constitution “unless absolutely necessary.”
Redistricting will occur after the 2020 census is completed. “If redistricting reform legislation is not passed in the next few months, we will be living with gerrymandered congressional and state legislative maps for the next decade,” Fair Districts PA claimed.
Those interested in the effort, but who may be unable to attend the Feb. 8 meeting, may consider participating in a similar event scheduled for March 4 (Wednesday) from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Boyertown Public Library, 24 N. Reading Road, Boyertown PA.
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