Tredyffrin-Area State Rep. Candidate: End Gerrymandering Now

Letter from Melissa Shusterman (Dem candidate for PA House 157), Tredyffrin Patch, Jan 9, 2018

Gerrymandering has been in the news a lot lately. What is it, and why is it such a problem? How can we fix it?

Every 10 years, a census is taken to determine the population of each state. After this determination, states must redraw their federal and state legislative districts in a process called redistricting or reapportionment. States do this to ostensibly ensure their citizens receive the equal representation they deserve in their state and the federal government. Accordingly, the intent is to make sure that each congressman, state senator and state representative have about the same number of people in their districts and that the districts don’t unnecessarily split up communities. Gerrymandering is a perversion of this process. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of district boundaries to best benefit a political party instead of citizens.

Gerrymandering is rampant in our country. Most states allow the legislature to draw district boundaries in any way they want, leading to the main consideration is how many seats can be won, to ensure that the party in power stays in power, instead of how to give Americans the representation they deserve in government. Gerrymandering allows politicians to pick their voters instead of allowing voters to pick their politicians and circumvent popular will. In 2012, Democratic Congressional candidates won 1.5 million more votes than Republicans, yet fell far short of a majority in the House….

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