Along with the controversy around Elections and Voting, the other big Political Issue this year is Redistricting — determining new Boundary Lines for the State’s Congressional and Legislative Districts. Work is already underway on both phases.
On Congressional Redistricting, Public Hearings begin this week in Harrisburg. More are coming Statewide next month. In D.C. in Congress, Pennsylvania loses one seat next year, going from 18 to 17 Representatives. State House Republicans recently unveiled a new Congressional Redistricting website with a new option for the public. They can soon submit their own map proposals for District boundaries. On Legislative Redistricting, its determining boundaries for the State’s 50 Senate, and 203 House Districts.
A Bi-Partisan Legislative Reapportionment Commission will also soon begin Public Hearings, with one Commission Member vowing an Open Process. Rep. Kerry Benninghoff saying: “This is not a backroom deal where someone is going to draw it up and say here it is. It also goes to the scrutiny of the public after it’s done and if they have objections, they file those objections and it goes to the Courts. So there’s a lot of checks and balances in that system.”
There’s also a Pandemic impact, because Redistricting relies heavily on Census numbers compiled every ten years. But those updated numbers won’t be available until next month, which shortens the timeline for the Redistricting work.