Making Democracy Work

Issues

Current issues of concern

Information about current issues of concern to all Pennsylvanians.

Hot Topics: Redistricting

NEW STATE APPROACH TO REDISTRICTING. November, 2018.

See the Home Page on this website for the GOOD NEWS about Governor Wolf's new Redistricting Reform Commission.

While the state legislature did not manage to pass legislation in the last session that would have changed Pennsylvania's voting map from grossly unfair to fair, Governor Wolf has created a bipartisan commission to create a way to end gerrymandering.

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.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

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 <http://www.fairdistrictspa.com>.

This session's legislative failure is not the end of the effort.

Suggestions for citizen action are listed on the Fair Districts website.

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

Hot Topics: Does My Vote Count?

WE ASKED THE QUESTION
The question: Does my vote count?
The answer: Maybe, maybe not.
What's the problem? Old, outdated voting machines with no paper verification.
What's the solution? New voting systems with paper verification as soon as possible.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY SOLVED THE PROBLEM
From the Montgomery County press release: The Montgomery County Commissioners have approved a contract with Dominion Voting Systems to provide a modern voter-marked paper balloting system with a verifiable paper trail that can be audited to ensure votes are being counted accurately.

In most cases, voters will use a pen to fill out a ballot and have an opportunity to check it for accuracy before submitting it to a scanner that tabulates the votes and keeps the ballot in a secure container for audits or recounts.

Between now and the May 2019 primary election, Montgomery County Services will conduct an extensive public outreach campaign and poll worker trainings to make sure the election goes as smoothly as possible.

Videos and other voter education materials will be 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.

THE GOOD NEWS FROM CITIZENS FOR BETTER ELECTIONS

So far -

  • Montgomery County will have new voting machines soon!
  • We've expanded our work into Delaware County with strong, committed leaders who are reaching out to their Delaware County elected officials.
  • We've learned a great deal about Harrisburg, and we know more about how to navigate the legislature.
  • Our bipartisan educational efforts have made this an issue that many legislators will support in the future.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. We will not stop until we know our foundation is secure.