Information about current issues of concern to all Pennsylvanians.
PEOPLE POWERED FAIR MAPS A NEW LEAGUE INITIATIVE
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 <https://www.lwv.org/peoplepoweredfairmaps> Find out how you can join in this important effort to guarantee voting is fair.
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 <http://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/Pages/Redistricting-Report-2019.aspx>
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.
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.
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 <http://www.lwv.org>.
URGE YOUR SENATORS TO HAVE THIS LEGISLATION SENT TO THE FLOOR.
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 -
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 <https://www.nationalpopularvote.org>
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 <http://www.montcopa.org/voterservices> and will be made available at the office of state legislators, municipal buildings and libraries as soon as they become available.
For more information, <https://www.citizensforbetterelections.org>