Testimony Highlights Difficulty of Drawing Perfect Map

HARRISBURG – Testimony received during this week’s hearing of the Senate State Government Committee highlighted many of the difficulties and controversies surrounding the process of congressional redistricting, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill), who chaired the hearing.

Albert Eisenberg, a co-founder of Broad + Liberty, shared testimony about our current and future congressional maps. His full testimony can be found here. He warned that people need to be wary of groups that call themselves “non-partisan” when it comes to the redistricting process, stating the following:

“One reason to be suspicious about the non-partisan groups is they ignore Maryland. So, you look just to the south of Pennsylvania, I saw a headline yesterday, that Maryland Democrats are considering an 8-0 map, Democrat to Republican. One reason why I became suspicious of Fair Districts Pennsylvania and ultimately was frustrated and made my concerns heard, they were not heard, and I consider them to be a Democratic activist group masquerading as a non-partisan group.”

Amanda Holt first gained her passion for redistricting in 2003, when the split of her municipality caused confusion for her neighbors at the polls.  Her love of puzzles and attention to detail led to her becoming an expert on the redistricting process.  Amanda advocated, above all else, keeping all counties and municipalities whole in Congressional redistricting.  She submitted several maps that accomplish this goal.  Her full testimony can be found here.

David Thornbugh and Justin Villere of the Committee of Seventy’s “Draw the Lines” project gave testimony on “The Pennsylvania Citizens’ Map,” which is based on the work of over 7,000 Pennsylvanians who have submitted maps in five different public competitions since 2018.  As David Thornburgh stated, redrawing districts is a “Rubik’s cube” problem – moving a boundary in Erie can have ripple effects that require changes in Philadelphia.  Their full testimony can be found here.

Dozens of Pennsylvanians also submitted testimony to the committee, which can be found at this link.

 

Contact: Jim Brugger   717.787.2637