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Keystone viewpoint: Independent redistricting needed

| Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, 9:00 p.m.

Republicans on the House State Government Committee approved a major reform but rendered it meaningless by rejecting an even more important reform. The committee voted to send to the full House a state constitutional amendment to reduce the number of seats in the chamber from 203 to 151. If approved by the full House and Senate, the amendment then would be presented to voters as a referendum.

While approving the amendment, the Republican majority voted down a Democrat amendment to eliminate gerrymandering by creating an independent commission to remap legislative, senatorial and congressional districts every 10 years.

Fairly drawn districts are needed to ensure that there are fewer perpetually “safe” seats, more competitive elections and the public airing of ideas that characterize them, and governance based on the broad public interest rather than the narrow interests of legislative leaders.

Independent redistricting must attend any reduction in the Legislature's size.

— The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre

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