Having heard Sen. Jake Corman speak twice about efforts to address our egregiously gerrymandered districts, I would like to further the discussion.
Currently, following each census, elected leaders of the House and Senate draw three sets of districts: the state House, state Senate, and federal congressional districts. All these districts suffer from the same problem: Elected officials are choosing their voters by using voter history data to pack and split voters into districts that either protect or punish an incumbent, and squeeze the other party out of office.
Senate Bill 22 is currently in committee. It has language to amend our state constitution to change this by creating a non-elected citizen commission with specific qualifications to prevent bias, and precludes anyone from using data other than the simple census population. The result in other states that have made these improvements is less polarization, districts that better reflect the voters, and more effective government.
Now is the time to urge your senator to co-sponsor Senate Bill 22 during this session, then again next session so it can come to a public vote. While you’re at it, also urge committee chair Mike Former to pass this out of committee to a floor vote. If you are tired of dysfunctional government, this is a great way to turn the tide.
Debra Trudeau, State College