Coming soon: Draw the Lines PA
In February, the Committee of Seventy launched Draw the Lines PA, Pennsylvania's first statewide public mapping competition of its electoral districts. Offering significant cash prizes, this nonpartisan contest will puts the same digital tools used by the political pros into the hands of Pennsylvania’s voters and students. Working together, citizens can create a process that produces far better maps and a renewed sense of civic engagement among Pennsylvanians. Visit DTL's website, drawthelinespa.org, to learn how you can enter your own maps into the competition.
Pennsylvania Districts for the 113th Congress, drawn by the General Assembly in 2011
Every ten years after the federal census, states are required to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts to ensure they remain equal in population. Each state has a different way of redistricting, and in Pennsylvania, congressional boundaries are determined by the General Assembly while state House and Senate districts are drawn by a five-member bipartisan commission. See Ballotpedia's primer on redistricting for an overview of the redistricting process in states across the country. For more on Pennsylvania, see this 101 guide by the nonpartisan Fair Districts PA coalition.
Gerrymandering: Drawing Crooked Lines
In many states including Pennsylvania, the redistricting process has proven highly vulnerable to gerrymandering, when districts are redrawn to give a certain parties, office holders or consituencies an advantage in elections. The consequences are numerous, including uncompetitive elections and diminished (or unfairly increased) influence of certain voters, all of which can contribute to political gridlock.
Tornoe, Center for Public Integrity
The Committee of Seventy urges voters across the state to draw their own maps through Draw the Lines Pa. and support Fair Districts PA in its work to fight for fairness and transparency in Pennsylvania's redistricting process. Visit drawthelinespa.org to learn how you can participate in reform and follow DTL on Facebook and Twitter.