Thursday September 28, 2017
The hallmark of our democracy is our right to vote, and for our votes to be earned. Votes are a shared and precious resource, giving every community a collective voice, but each vote needs to count. In Berks County and the rest of Pennsylvania, a practice called gerrymandering threatens fair elections.
Gerrymandering distorts legislative boundaries so that specific voting outcomes are assured. It happens behind closed partisan doors, invisible to the public.
Just like vandalism defaces a public monument, gerrymandering vandalizes and devalues our votes. Defacing public monuments has actual consequences, and communities are left to clean up the mess. Some of the known consequences of gerrymandering are legislative gridlock, voter apathy, extreme partisanship, lack of competition and isolation. Communities are left to cope with this mess, too.
Let's replace the closed doors of partisan redistricting with a transparent solution, visible to the public. Today, we are interdependent in all aspects of our lives; education, affordable health care, safety and business among them. I urge all Berks County voters to support state House Bill 722/Senate Bill 22 and its proposed 11-member citizen commission, to reform redistricting and make every vote count. We must begin again to control the destiny of our communities.
Practice takes away fairness in elections