Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, May 21, 2018

Letter to the editor

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by The Press in Opinion

Redistricting reform will make your vote count

To the Editor:

Imagine living where you’re allowed to vote, but your vote doesn’t count because election outcomes are predetermined by a few powerful party leaders. Russia or Iran may come quickly to mind.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to go that far, as this is the situation in Pennsylvania.

Gerrymandering enables our state’s political leaders to carve out voting districts so that each district is essentially “owned” by one or the other major political party. This is achieved by mapping a district to skew the ratio of registered voters strongly in favor of a particular party.

As a result, unless you vote for candidates of the party your district is skewed toward, your vote typically won’t make a difference in election outcomes. So, the politicians pick the voters, not vice versa. This is why poor-performing incumbents are so hard to remove from office.

Currently, there’s a strong bipartisan effort to reform Pennsylvania’s redistricting process, but party leaders are fighting it vigorously as it threatens their power. The time available for reform is very short. Please contact your state legislators now to let them know that you want redistricting reform, including an independent citizens committee so that your votes will always count.

Harold Vandegrift

North Catasauqua