Governor Wolf’s Council invites public to comment on Congressional Redistricting

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 19: Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf speaks on stage during Pennsylvania Conference For Women at Pennsylvania Convention Center on November 19, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

In an announcement on October 13th, Governor Wolf stated that members of this Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council will hold listening sessions across the state in order to gather public feedback on congressional redistricting.

One of these listening sessions will be held at Penn State Behrend on Monday October 25th at 5 p.m. at the Pat Black III Conference Center at 180 Burke at 5101 Jordan Road.

“The opinions of Pennsylvanians must be heard as the legislature prepares to draw new congressional district boundary maps,” said Gov. Wolf. “The decisions made through the redistricting process will affect every person and community in Pennsylvania for the next decade. Reviewing the maps is one of my most important acts as governor and I take that responsibility extremely seriously. I have long believed that gerrymandering is wrong, and politicians should not use the redistricting process to choose their own voters. That is why I have tasked the advisory council with listening to people and providing their expert advice to me so that I can better evaluate the maps in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians.”

The other listening sessions are as follows:

  • Monday October 18th at 5:30 p.m. at Rachel Carson State Office Building at 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.
  • Wednesday October 20th at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Scranton Brennan Hall in the Rose Room at 800 Linden Street in Scranton, PA 18510.
  • Friday October 22ndf at 11 a.m. at Point Park University Center for Media Innovation at 305 Wood Street in Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
  • Monday October 25th at 5 p.m. at West Chester University Swope Music Building Ware Recital Hall at 817 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382.
  • Friday October 29th at 11 a.m. at Drexel University at the Creese Student Center at 3210 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • Monday November 1st at 11 a.m. at Penn State Main Campus at the HUB Robeson Center at 201 Old Main in University Park, PA 16802.
  • Wednesday November 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at Mansfield University at Manser Hall at 31 S. Academy St in Mansfield, PA 16933.

This council was created by an executive order signed by the governor on September 13th. The six member council is comprised of redistricting experts who provide guidance to the governor to assist his review of the congressional redistricting plan.

This plan will be passed by the General Assembly later this year.

The Council will review the redistricting processes in other states that reduce gerrymandering. They will then develop factors to determine if a plan improves the integrity and fairness and prevents the dilution of a person’s vote, and offer recommendations to ensure that districts are compact and contiguous to keep communities together and ensure people are proportionally represented.

In addition to the council and the listening sessions, the Wolf Administration created a redistricting website the public can use to submit proposed maps, outline communities of interest, and submit comments to help shape the outcome of this critical part of our democratic process.

Gov. Wolf has long fought to modernize our elections to remove barriers to voting and improve the process for citizens and election officials.

In 2019, the governor signed a landmark law with the most significant improvement to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years.

The law, Act 77 of 2019, created the extremely popular option to cast a ballot by mail without an excuse and provided more time to register to vote, among other enhancements.

Since Act 77, more Pennsylvanians have registered to vote and participated in our democracy than ever before.

The governor also helped to secure $90 million to help counties with purchasing new voting systems with a paper trail and modern security.

The Wolf Administration also created the option for people to register to vote or update their registration online for the first time, which more than 3 million people have used.

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