In just a few years, voting districts will be redrawn across the country, and there’s a bipartisan push trickling down to the Lehigh Valley to do away with “gerrymandering.” Every 10 years, voting lines are redrawn with the census. Gerrymandering refers to manipulating voting district lines to benefit a party. It’s named after Eldridge Gerry, a former vice president and Massachusetts governor in the early 1800’s. In Pennsylvania, the political party in charge draws the lines. With the lines set to be drawn again in 2020, there is a growing movement to change how the districts are divided.
Frederick “Fritz” Walker is with Fair Districts PA, a non-partisan group formed under the League of Women Voters with the goal of changing how voting lines are drawn. “In places it’s only 800 feet wide, can you imagine that,” said Walker.
Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional district is considered one of the most gerrymandered in the country.
“You look at and say what the heck does this have to do with fairness. The answer is nothing,” Walker said. “It’s very nefarious and both parties do it when they have the opportunity.” Walker is encouraging municipalities to pass resolutions supporting a citizens’ commission for redistricting in Pennsylvania.