Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council holds redistricting meeting at Penn State Behrend

Local News

It’s a job that happens every ten years and has become a source of heated political controversy.

With a new census in hand, it’s time to redraw congressional maps across the commonwealth.

Governor Tom Wolf’s Redistricting Advisory Council making an effort to include Erie in the process.

Here is more on the initial steps of this redistricting plan.

In Erie County residents are getting involved in the process. Local voters attended a redistricting meeting at Penn State Behrend on October 27th.

Governor Tom Wolf’s Advisory Committee is working with voters from several counties to draw fair and unbiased congressional maps.

Several Erie voters attended a meeting at Penn State Behrend and said that the want the district to be compact as the congressional district expands.

“Do the voters here prefer to expand Eastward into rural Pennsylvania or expand Southward into more of the Pittsburgh suburbs and most of the voters here expressed a preference that the district expands East,” said Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science at Penn State Behrend.

As a result of the 2020 census, the ideal congressional district in Pennsylvania will contain about 765,000 residents.

Ten years ago, Gerrymandering was a major problem in Pennsylvania after the state legislature was accused of drawing some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country.

“We now have divided party government in Harrisburg with a democratic governor and a republican legislature, so it is probably less likely that the districts as gerrymandered as they were ten years ago,” said Speel.

One constituent said that it is important for Erie County voters to have an input in redrawing the congressional map.

“To give us a good strong congressional district that will represent the interests of all of the people in our county, and we do not feel that we are being represented now,” said Cindy Purvis, City of Erie Voter.

Purvis said that constituents had the opportunity to weigh in on the pros and cons of spreading the congressional district East or South.

“I’m sure the governors commission will really have some new data to consider when they sit down to look at how these maps are drawn,” said Purvis.

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