Redistricting Reform

Redistricting Matters:  A Nonpartisan Consensus for Cumberland County

October 12, 2017

AAUW Carlisle took the lead to organize a program on gerrymandering to educate Cumberland County voters why redistricting reform is important.  Collaborating with Fair Districts PA—Cumberland Valley, the YWCA Carlisle, and Cumberland Valley Rising we presented an evening packed full of information.  Covered in The Sentinel.

PA has been an outlier in extreme gerrymandering since the 1990s. According to five methods in use to rank gerrymandering of Congressional districts, PA is the only state that ranks in the top five by every measure—Efficiency gap, Seats-to-votes, Mean-median, Lopsided wins, and Simulated elections. In Cumberland County, we are represented by 2 U.S. Congressmen, 3 State Senators, 6 State Representatives. Is anyone representing the interests of the entire county?

Ann Pehle, President AAUW Carlisle opened the meeting. Bill Schneider (Fair Districts PA–Cumberland Valley) showed a presentation to explain gerrymandering and redistricting reform.   Cumberland County Commissioner Jim Hertzler told the audience the reasons the Cumberland County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting redistricting reform.  Following, Sarah Niebler, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Dickinson College moderated the panel discussion which included Vince DiFilippo, Chair Cumberland County Commissioners;  Nancy Konhaus Griffie, Chairman Silver Spring Township Board of Supervisors; Suzanne Almeida, Executive Director PA League of Women Voters; and Ron Skubecz, Fair Districts PA–Cumberland Valley.

Every attendees received a bag full of information from Fair Districts PA.  Also included was a post card and everyone was urged to send it to their state representative or senator to indicate their support for redistricting reform.  At the time of the event, only one representative or senator in a district including Cumberland County had signed as co-sponsor of the legislation.