When politicians manipulate district lines to benefit themselves and their parties, the public always loses.
This week Carol Kuniholm, election reform specialist for the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and co-chair of Fair Districts PA, addressed members of the League of Women Voters of Berks County and guests on the gridlock and dysfunction that result from partisan gerrymandering.
Liam Migdail-Smith of the Reading Eagle reported the discussion in detail:
The 7th District — which meanders from Spring Township to the Delaware border — is often cited as a national poster child for gerrymandering. But Kuniholm said the “crime” is the 16th District, which groups the entire city of Reading with the bulk of rural Lancaster County.
“You’re taking a primarily urban, primary minority, primary poor population and who are they voting with? Lancaster farmers … To me, this is a tragedy.”
Pennsylvania is an attractive target for national Republicans or Democrats seeking to gain the upper hand in Congress by gerrymandering. It’s one of the largest swing states and lax campaign finance laws enable national groups to influence state races.