Barks Man Draws Award-winning Pennsylvania Legislative Map

It’s a puzzle that looks almost difficult to stitch together.

Attempting to build the 50 Senates and 203 Districts of the State Capitol in Pennsylvania in a fair and equitable manner is not an easy task. It’s a tedious endeavor that requires tenacity and attention to detail.

There are many things to consider when drawing legislative boundaries. For example, make sure each district represents about the same number of people, keep the community close, don’t give one party an unfair advantage over the other, and don’t divide the county into too many parts. And so on. ..

Enough to rotate the head.

But despite all these challenges Sean Kardiner decided to give it a try.. And recently he was rewarded for his efforts.

A 19-year-old college student from Rockland Township is the winner of a contest hosted by advocacy group Fair Districts PA, inviting Pennsylvania citizens to participate in the legislative district redrawing process by giving them the opportunity to map themselves. Was selected for.

Sean Kardiner

Cardinale pays attention to legal precedents, observes voters’ concerns and creates districts for voters, while acknowledging the group with the talent to draw a map that balances multiple constitutional values. It was one of the 10 people who were killed.

“It took about six hours to complete the map in a few days,” Cardinale said in a recent interview. “It was a very tedious task, especially when it came to drawing very populous centers like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and rural areas of very low-population states.”

Carol Kniholm, Chairman of the Fair District PA, said the contest is an ongoing effort to educate Pennsylvania citizens on both the importance and challenges of creating a well-drawn district map. Said it was part of it.

These boundaries have the power to influence who wins the legislative election.

Political leaders on both sides of the aisle are also known to engage in gerrymandering. This is the practice of creating district boundaries to benefit their interests, such as keeping incumbents in the office or giving one party an advantage.

“The contestants took less than three weeks to map,” Kuniholm said. “The fact that citizen mappers were able to complete their work in our compressed time frame is because even if the receipt of census data is delayed due to COVID, professional mappers do it properly. Indicates that there is ample time for. “

According to Kniholm, the goal of the Fair District is to lower the state’s reputation as one of the country’s most gerrymanderers. An additional goal is to encourage citizens to submit maps to the Legislative Redistribution Committee, the committee responsible for redrawing the legislative boundaries of the Senate and House districts.

The Legislative Redistribution Commission consists of four majority and minority leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives, chaired by a person elected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Kardiner said he believed it was the wrong way to create a legislative district because it made the process unnecessarily political. So he challenged to take part in a contest to see if he could make a map.

“The notion that politicians can choose who their members are is a threat to our democratic system itself,” he said. “People should choose who they want to represent, and not the other way around.”

Kardiner, a political science student at Moravian University in Bethlehem, said he believed his map was achieving that goal. And he did that by focusing on creating a district, mostly in one county, trying to balance Democratic and Republican voters.

“Often you’ll see districts drawn in a way that brings all the voters of the same party together,” he said. “Instead, I created the districts so that their population wouldn’t divide, but split them into multiple districts, and not just one district that won 90% of the votes, but one that won 55%. I made it three. Vote. “

Kniholm said he was impressed with the achievements of the winners.

She said the contest winners would work with Fair District volunteers to create a composite map of the House and Senate that incorporates lessons learned from all submissions.

The organization then seeks feedback from local community groups before sending the final version to the Legislative Redistribution Commission this fall.

For more information on the fair district or repartitioning process, please visit:

Barks Man Draws Award-winning Pennsylvania Legislative Map

Source link Barks Man Draws Award-winning Pennsylvania Legislative Map

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