Making Democracy Work


Current issues of concern

Information about current issues of concern to all Pennsylvanians.

Hot Topics: Redistricting


People Powered Fair Maps is a national redistricting program of the League of Women Voters focused on creating fair political maps nationwide. The program includes actions in all 50 states and DC.

The work will look different in each state, but the progam is comprised of five major focus areas;
1. Ballot Initiatives or Referendums
2. State Constitutional Options
3. State Legislative Fixes
4. Federal Legislative Fixes
5. Civic Engagement & Education.

Each state will engage in at least one of the four focus areas through advocacy, education, organizing and mobilization, partnerships, litigation, and/or protection/defensive action.

In Pennsylvania the League will focus on state constitutional options, state legislative fixes, and federal legislative fixes. All 50 states will focus on civic engagement and education.

For more information on this important program see <> Find out how you can join in this important effort to guarantee voting is fair.

September 2019
Governor Wolf's bipartisan Redistricting Commission has submitted it report with recommendations for redistricting reform in Pennsylvania.

Among the recommendations in the report are an 11-member commission appointed by the General Assembly and the Governor to draw five maps for consideration. The Commission report also recommended that the commissioners solicit public feedback both online and at public hearings before and after the five maps are created, and that the maps must be drawn without consideration of political affiliation of voters or previous election results.

The full report is available at <>

The League supports an independent redistricting commission, with strict criteria for commissioners and strict, ranked criteria for the adopted plans. The League is thankful for the thoughtful, diligent work of the Commission, and applauds the open, transparent, and public nature of the process.

A little background on the problem: At this time Pennsylvania is near the very bottom of electoral fairness. In a PA House legislative proposal for HB 722, April 2017, the situation was detailed. "According to a recent study by the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), Pennsylvania ranks third worst in the nation for the fairness of its electoral boundaries -- only Wisconsin and North Carolina scored worse. When politicians manipulate district lines to benefit themselves and their parties, the public always loses."

REMINDER: The recent court decision on redistricting is a temporary fix and only applies to the US Congressional Districts.

Fair Districts PA is a nonpartisan, citizen-led statewide coalition working to create a process for redistricting that is transparent, impartial, and fair. For complete coverage of the effort, visit <>.

Note A number of PA municipalities have passed resolutions supporting the effort to make redistricting fair.

Note: Every ten years voting districts are redrawn. The next time our voting districts will be redrawn will happen after the 2020 census.

Hot Topics: Protecting Voting Rights

HR1, For the People Act 2019, was passed by the House and sent to the Senate. Senate Democrats have crafted their version of HR1 which is similar in most aspects but has a few minor differences. HOWEVER, Speaker McConnell has declared that he will not bring this bill to the floor. PERIOD. Senate Democrats are understandably frustrated and are attempting to garner support from their Republican colleagues. There is some talk of making the issue of protecting voter rights a campaign issue for 2020.

What's in HR1?
HR1, For the People Act 2019, is a package of voting reforms aimed at guaranteeing voting rights for all citizens. The major essential elements of the bill are:
1. Expand Voter Registration by modernizing the registration process through expansion of automatic voter registration and online voter registration.

2. Implement Fair Redistricting by ending gerrymandering once and for all by creating fairly drawn maps.

3. Outlaw Voter Purging. Prohibiting illegal voter roll purging will ensure that eligible voters will not find themselves wrongfully stripped of the right to vote.

4. Restore the VRA - the Voting Rights Act. Restoring the Voting Rights Act will strengthen our elections by cutting back the obstructive laws that have kept eligible voters from exercising their right at the ballot box.

For more details see <>.


Hot Topics: Should We Abolish the Electoral College?

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the direct-popular-vote method for electing the President and Vice-President is essential to representative government. The League of Women Voters believes, therefore, that the Electoral College should be abolished.

None of the Founders' original intentions remain relevant today. The Electoral College is an imperfect system that is damaging to our democracy.

The Electoral College -

  • Puts the choice of president in the hands of voters in only a few so- called swing states;
  • Decreases participation in our democracy;
  • Polarizes our electorate into "red" and "blue;"
  • Has resulted five times in a presidential winner who did not receive a majority of the votes.

How Can the Electoral College be Abolished?
1. The Slow Route. By constitutional amendment. A constitutional amendment has been introduced many times. January 3, 2019 House Joint Resolution 7 "proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the electoral college and to provide for the direct election of the President and Vice-President of the United States" was introduced by several representatives.

2. A Faster Route. A constitutional amendment can take years to pass. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an acceptable interim solution. States agree to give all their electoral votes to whomever wins the national popular vote. To date 16 states have signed the compact for a total of 196 votes. In order to go into effect, the compact must have 74 more votes for a minimum of 270 votes out of the total of 538 electoral votes. For more information see <>

Hot Topics: Montgomery Co's New Voting Machines


The new machines were used in the May Primary. For new voting machine demonstrations, see the Montgomery County website and click on Conversations with Commissioners.

Videos and other voter education materials are available online at <> and will be made available at the office of state legislators, municipal buildings and libraries as soon as they become available.

For more information, <>