Every 10 years, after each national census, the Pennsylvania Legislature redraws the boundaries of our Congressional, state House and state Senate districts. The original goal of redistricting was to ensure voting districts remain equal in population, so that every vote counts. But politicians manipulate that process for political advantage instead of fair representation. It’s time to put voters first.
Pennsylvania Redistricting Litigation
With that goal in mind, Common Cause helped a recruit plaintiffs and is continuing to support League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania heard this state constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's congressional map on January 17, 2018. To support the plaintiffs, Common Cause filed an amicus brief and alternative maps to demonstrate to the court that maps can be drawn fairly in a way that puts voters first. See our maps below:
- Common Cause Map #1 (zoom in on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
- Common Cause Map #2 (zoom in on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
- Common Cause Map #3 (zoom in on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
Fair Districts PA
Fair Districts PA is a coalition of citizens and organizations working to ensure that political district maps are drawn in a fair and transparent way through a process that allows voters to choose their legislators rather than legislators choosing their voters. With leadership from Common Cause PA and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, groups from across the state have endorsed strong redistricting principles and passed resolutions in support of redistricting reform.
Because of political manipulation of electoral boundaries, very few of Pennsylvania's electoral districts are considered competitive. In fact, a growing number of PA candidates now run unopposed - many with no opposition in either the primary or general election. When candidates run unopposed their constituents lose the ability to hold them accountable.
The coalition has voted to endorse two companion bills, Senate Bill 484, introduced by Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh County) and House Bill 1835, introduced by Rep. David Parker (R-Monroe County). Both bills would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish an independent citizens redistricting commission with clear standards to ensure public input and a fair, non-partisan outcome.