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Schuylkill voters speak out on districts

A group of Schuylkill County voters is looking to take politics out of the process of drawing up new legislative districts after every U.S. Census.

The Schuylkill County chapter of Fair Districts PA first met last November to discuss the issue of “gerrymandering,” an issue that led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to come up with its own version of the legislative map.

Two new bills have been introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature in an effort to take the drawing of such maps out of the hands of politicians.

The group recently met with local legislators to drum up support for the bills. State Reps. Jerry Knowles, Mike Tobash and Neal Goodman have all agreed to be co-sponsors of House Bill 722.

The group collected almost 200 postcards from Argall’s constituents, asking him to support Senate Bill 22. They were presented to the senator on April 4. Argall agreed to look more closely at the bill, as he too is opposed to gerrymandering

Fair Districts is advocating changing the process to allow for an appointed, independent citizens commission to direct the drawing of legislative district lines.

Members of the group Fair Districts PA presented state Sen. Dave Argall with almost 200 postcards from constituents, asking him to support SB 22. The bill aims to take politics out of the process of creating legislative district boundaries after every new census. Group members include, kneeling, Morris Brill and Marybeth Dohmann; standing, Jane Kruse, Helen Sluzis, Dr. Tom Beausang, Diana Beausang, Claire Kempes and Todd Zimmerman. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO