Gerrymandering as an illness

By Catherine Holt

Clarion County League of Women Voters


Democracy is like a person. One can be healthy and vigorous or diseased and faltering. Gerrymandering is one disease that attacks democracies.

This disease hacks up voting districts for political advantage. The illness causes lethargy in voters because so many votes are wasted.

The affliction of gerrymandering shuts democracy down.

A mild case of gerrymandering might not cause many obvious symptoms, but Pennsylvania has one of the worst cases in our nation.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of this sickness is for good men and good women to do nothing.

The medicine to help our state recover from gerrymandering is House Bill 22/Senate Bill 1022 and House Bill 23/Senate Bill 1023.

Neither state Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-63) nor state Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21) have responded to a FairDistrictPA survey with their positions on these bills.

In December, Rep. Oberlander had a cordial conversation with several League of Women Voters of Clarion County members about gerrymandering.

It sounded like she might vote for the bills if they came up for a vote but clearly she wouldn't spend any of her political capital getting there.

Sen. Hutchison's office didn't even respond to a request for an interview.

Why have Rep. Oberlander and Sen. Hutchinson remained silent on this redistricting issue?

Contact your legislator and tell her or him to fill the prescription to put Pennsylvania on the path to recovery from the ills of gerrymandering.

Read about the problems and solutions of gerrymandering in plain language at if medical metaphors are not your cup of tea.