ICYMI: The latest on redistricting

Chris Satullo| September 18th, 2018

Here's what's being going on with the gerrymandering issue over the last few days, nationally and locally.

Veteran Philly.com political columnist John Baer talked with Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, who surprised him by saying he’s planning on putting up a proposal to change the process for congressional redistricting.   (Senate President Joe Scarnati, meanwhile, says he’s got a bill to open the state’s very closed party primaries to other voters.)

Hmm. Could it be that Harrisburg’s Republican leaders are looking at polling that tells them clinging to the status quo on the conduct of elections might not be a safe place to be this November – and afterward. 

John Baer's column

A comprehensive political reform package in Missouri that included a redistricting element may prove to have been just a little bit too comprehensive.

A judge there ruled that the package was too broad to be included in just one ballot question.   Backers will appeal.  (Note: To read the link below, you may have to fill out a survey, which is the work of the news outlet, not Draw the Lines.) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Clean Missouri package.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Gill v. Whitford redistricting case out of Wisconsin left reformers baffled and disappointed, advocates have gotten to work reshaping their challenge to that state’s legislative gerrymander.  The Associated Press offers a good summary.

The AP on Wisconsin

The Hill, the political news outlet that’s a D.C. institution, ran an opinion piece by a reformer touting Iowa’s distinctive process for drawing electoral lines.

The Hill looks at Iowa

Technical.ly Philly, the site that covers all things digital in Southeastern Pennsylvania, did a tight, accurate story on the launch of Draw the Lines, giving appropriate attention to the tech firm that built District Builder, Azavea, and the web firm that designed this website, P’unk Avenue.

Technical.ly Philly on DTL

The University of Pennsylvania’s student news service was on the scene as the university asked DTL to help it celebrate Constitution Day (Sept. 17). In the photo, participants tackle a worksheet that helps them grasp the mysteries of "cracking" and "packing," the key tactics of the gerrymander.

The Daily Pennsylvanian on DTL