Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bill to Stop Gerrymandering

Inquirer columnist Chris Satullo writes that this Monday HB 2420 will be introduced in the Pennsylvania House. It is designed to keep communities and municipalities within the same congressional and state legislative districts. Satullo, in "Stop the gerrymander," points out some of the quirky boundaries we have at present:

You see, the line separating the Sixth District, represented by Republican Jim Gerlach, from the Seventh, represented by Democrat Joe Sestak, cuts across this block at a 45-degree angle. As best I can tell, the folks in the house to my right are represented by Sestak, but the cars in their garage are on Gerlach's turf.

Those who keep up with state congressional politics know that Patrick Murphy won the 8th congressional district because of the votes in that odd shaped bit of Montgomery County that was pasted on during the last redistricting. But I defy anyone to specify exactly where those district boundaries are, especially right where Bucks and Montco meet.

You can see the boundaries of the nation's congressional districts at As a good example, take a look at the 6th congressional district. Seriously, what logic went into that? Check around at some of the other states. I saw a few that had whacky districts but nothing that was chopped up quite as badly as Pennsylvania's Montgomery County.

This is an issue that needs attention. The bill will have to be acted upon quickly, before the legisative session ends, to have any real impact on the next redistricting, done every 10 years and coming up very soon.

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