Category Archives: Voting & districts

Democrats see massive turnout boost in primaries

By Mike McGann, The Times of Chester County, 5/17/17

Tuesday’s primaries settled a handful of races, while setting the stage for the fall election battles, as Democratic turnout was noticeably higher than seen in the same primary four years ago — in part because of high profile primaries for the West Chester Mayoral seat, as well as a hotly contested District Justice race in the Kennett/Unionville area.

While more Republicans cast more ballots in 2017 than in 2013 by a 25,594-22,727 margin, it was Democrats who saw a dramatic spike, going from just 12,402 ballots cast in 2013 to 23,725 this year. Although the GOP maintains a 19,000 advantage in registered voters, Democratic voter activation in what is typically the lowest attended Election Day suggests that the fall county row races may well be in play for the first time in more than a generation, as the county’s independent voters typically do not split evenly between GOP and Democrat support, typically favoring the latter….

keep reading at The Times of Chester County

Why Vote on May 16?

Why does every vote count?

“Trump Fires Comey Amid Russia Inquiry”—NY Times headline (print edition), May 10

Elected officials need to speak out

For example: “This is Nixonian”—Senator Bob Casey, May 9

What happens when Democrats don’t vote?

Trump happens. The will of the people doesn’t happen.

Show elected officials we’re listening: vote on May 16!

Or else:

(Too young to remember? In October, 1973, President Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Cox was investigating the Watergate break-in orchestrated by Nixon henchmen. Resolutions to impeach Nixon were immediately introduced, and he was forced to resign the next year.)

Show that you are paying attention, show that you care: vote May 16, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

See also Why Vote? Why Vote Down the Ballot?

A Q&A with Kate Young on Fair Districts PA and the fight against gerrymandering

By Nathaniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, May 1st, 2017

Recently I spoke with Kate Young about Fair Districts PA and its campaign to do away with gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Several Fair Districts presentations this spring have generated great interest. West Chester Public Library didn’t have materials on gerrymandering in its collection, so Fair Districts PA donated three books and a DVD to support the continuing education of the community.

Why did you decide to put time and energy into this particular issue?

After the November election, I was looking for a non-partisan good government issue to work on, and the bad redistricting process in our state explains why many people think their votes don’t matter here. Over the years, the party in power has drawn districts to their own advantage and to the detriment of democracy.

The first meeting I attended to learn about gerrymandering had 12 guests registered. When I arrived at the Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr, the room was already full and people were sitting on the floor. There has been national concern on the redistricting process since after the 2000 census. My mother, former 156th district representative Barb McIlvaine Smith, was working against gerrymandering ten years ago. A few other states like California have moved to a neutral citizens commission; PA can’t wait another ten years to do that….

keep reading at The Times of Chester County

Kennett Township officials take aim at gerrymandering

By MattFreeman, Daily Local News, 4/23/17

KENNETT TOWNSHIP >> With documented support from hundreds of citizens, the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors has called to amend the state Constitution to combat gerrymandering.

The supervisors voted unanimously at their Wednesday night meeting to support a resolution calling for an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would give responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting to an independent citizens’ commission.

“Gerrymandering” is the practice of dominant political parties using the redistricting process to give themselves unfair electoral advantages.

Greg McCoy presented the supervisors with a petition he said had been signed by more than 200 residents supporting the proposal. An independent citizens’ commission overseeing the redistricting process “may get our democracy back to truly representing our citizens,” McCoy said….

keep reading at Daily Local News