It is still difficult to hear the quiet voice of reason over the racket in Harrisburg. The 2020 election is over, at least for those of us who acknowledge problems the PA election offices experienced while recognizing the final numbers wouldn’t change regardless of error or malfeasance. Yes, we must do better.
Moderates have an opportunity to lessen the vitriol by making sure redistricting takes place this year without undue influence by one party. To do that, we need to open the map-drawing process so we can see why district lines are drawn where they are. No need to assume malpractice. Trust but verify.
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission composed of majority-party and minority-party leaders of the PA House and Senate will choose a fifth member to decide which maps to use when PA goes to vote. Since they rarely agree on that fifth person, the PA Supreme Court Chief Justice may appoint a fifth.
Moderates of any party and independent voters should focus on the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act (LACRA), reintroduced this week in the PA House as House Bill 22 and Senate Bill 222. It is too late this census cycle to establish an independent redistricting commission but we can still have transparency of process. These bills guarantee that.
Transparency will lower the temperature, decrease opportunities for complaint or litigation, and forestall partisan influence. Further info: Fair Districts PA Town Hall Feb 17th, 4:00 pm-5:30 pm.