It’s time for Pennsylvanians to be able to choose our state legislators, not the politicians choosing their own voters.

 

In the five redistricting cycles since 1971, the process has produced state House and Senate maps that too often punish political opponents, advantage incumbents, marginalize communities, or just simply split communities right down the middle. In 2021, Pennsylvanians deserve a process that is fair, transparent, and led by voters.

Under the PA Constitution, a group called the Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) draws the voting districts for the General Assembly. The LRC is comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats, each of whom serves as the majority and minority leaders of the PA House and Senate. Naturally, these four have a vested interest in maps that favor their party over the interests of voters.

However, PA law also dictates that the fifth and final member of the LRC be a Pennsylvania citizen not holding elected office. This fifth member serves as the chairperson of the commission. The other four members are supposed to choose this fifth person, but if they can't agree then the chair is chosen by the state Supreme Court. In fact, the chair has never been chosen by the four members and has always been chosen by the Court. 

The 2011 LRC announced a public application process for its fifth member, but apparently the 13 candidates who submitted their credentials weren't good enough. The Supreme Court chose someone not from those who applied. It needs to be different in 2021.

Sign this petition to demand that the 2021 LRC establish a true public application process for its fifth member. Tell the members of the LRC that we want them to make the pick, not the Supreme Court.  Tell them that we need someone who is independent and who will focus on the law, transparency, and fairness throughout the redistricting process. With an independent chair, Pennsylvania would see a redistricting process that is fair, open, and powered by the people of Pennsylvania.