On a Quest to End Gerrymandering and Make a “Good Map”

Anne Hanna.

They canvass. They lobby. They protest. Concerned citizens insert themselves into the political process on behalf of the public good in different ways. Anne Hanna, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, became politically active in the best way she knew how: by using her computational and data analysis skills in the fight against partisan gerrymandering — a fight that is front-and-center in Pennsylvania right now. [Read more…]

The Mathematics of Redistricting

Dr. Moon Duchin is an associate professor of mathematics at Tufts University and the founder of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group.

AGENDA
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.   First Lecture: Gerrymandering and the Mathematics of Voting Rights
4:00 – 4:30 p.m.   Refreshments
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.   Second Lecture: Discrete Curvature in Redistricting and Group Theory

Seating is limited.
For more information, contact Ronald Perline at [email protected].

Justice and Gerrymandering: Faith Perspectives on Redistricting Reform

Fair Districts PA Chair Carol Kuniholm will discuss her own exploration of justice and love of neighbor, and the way that journey led to her involvement in redistricting reform. She’ll explain gerrymandering and its implications for the people of Pennsylvania and suggest ways for houses of worship to engage. This presentation, given in her home congregation, will be filmed for use in religious forums across the state.

This is a public event, and all are welcome to attend. The event is co-hosted by POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) and by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches – Advocacy.

Unrigging Our Elections

Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling in League of Women Voters v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which was just handed down. In its opinion, the court held that Pennsylvania’s congressional district maps violate the state constitution. The ruling also requires that the maps be redrawn in time for the May 2018 primaries.

People who are concerned that elections in the U.S. are “rigged” should be thrilled with the wave of new court cases on partisan gerrymandering, which voice this contention, and even better, propose remedies for the problem. [Read more…]

Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Cases Percolating in the Courts

Note: Since submitting this article, Senator Leach has stepped back from his congressional campaign in the light of recent accusations about his personal conduct.

Back in 2004, when I held my first public forum on gerrymandering and 23 people showed up, I could never have predicted that the drawing of legislative district lines would become such a trendy topic. My last forum on this topic drew over 350 people. It seems like every day there is a new article in some national publication on how obscenely drawn our lines are (especially Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, in which I am keenly interested). In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Gill v. Whitford this year, a case directly challenging the concept of gerrymandering that could, if decided right, be one of the most consequential cases in the court’s history.

Here in Pennsylvania, things are really popping. While we await the outcome of Gill, there are two important cases percolating in which the district lines in our state are under judicial review. [Read more…]

Partisan Gerrymandering Trial: League of Women Voters v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

With the 2018 midterm elections nearing and a gerrymandering case under review in the U.S. Supreme Court, partisan gerrymandering is a hot topic right now. It is also an important issue for Pennsylvanians, whose voting districts are considered some of the most gerrymandered in the country. This issue is on trial in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg in the case of League of Women Voters v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The trial is open to the public. It begins on December 11, and is expected to be completed on December 15. It could potentially take longer, and because of the time urgency, there may be days when it runs beyond normal court hours.

Gerrymandering, The Real Voter Fraud

Fair Districts PA speaker Michael Druding will explain Pennsylvania’s current redistricting process, demonstrate how it undermines democracy and then offer a solution to the problem.

Fair Districts PA is a non-partisan coalition of citizens and organizations seeking to reform Pennsylvania’s redistricting rules by taking the process out of the hands of party leaders and putting it into the hands of an impartial, transparent and accountable citizens’ commission.

Fair Districts PA Statewide Conference Call

This is not an introductory call, but it is open to volunteers, supporters or anyone curious about what’s next for Fair Districts PA. Update information from these calls will also be shared in other appropriate ways, either through our Statewide Coordinating Team or through email updates.

Call in: (641) 715-3580 / Access code: 594190

For introductory information, check out our Let’s End Gerrymandering video or Voices of Fair Districts PA.

Partisan Gerrymandering Trial: Agre v. Wolf

With the 2018 midterm elections nearing and a gerrymandering case under review in the U.S. Supreme Court, partisan gerrymandering is a hot topic right now. It is also an important issue for Pennsylvanians, whose voting districts are considered some of the most gerrymandered in the country. This issue is on trial in Philadelphia in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the case of Agre v. Wolf.

The trial is open to the public and will begin on Monday, December 4. It will start after pretrial motions wrap up, at about 10:30 a.m. Plaintiffs will present their case from Monday morning through mid-day on Wednesday. Defendants will present their case from Wednesday afternoon through mid-day on Friday.

Partisan Gerrymandering Is on Trial in Pennsylvania

State and federal courts in Pennsylvania are taking up the issue of partisan gerrymandering — and their decisions could potentially have a significant impact on the 2018 midterm elections. Partisan gerrymandering is the intentional drawing of voting district maps to benefit a particular political party — and Pennsylvania is infamous for its gerrymandered districts. As Stephen Wolf of the Daily Kos explains, “[T]he GOP’s brazenly tortured lines have produced a stable 13-to-5 Republican congressional majority in what is otherwise an evenly divided swing state.” [Read more…]