Senator Proposes Changes to Pennsylvania’s Redistricting Commission

Senator David G. Argall

State Sen. David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) last week proposed two constitutional amendments that would affect state-legislative redistricting in Pennsylvania. 

The first reform the senator wants to make would change the process for choosing the chair of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), which oversees remapping of the General Assembly’s districts every 10 years. Current law directs the state Supreme Court to pick a chairperson, effectively deciding which party controls the five-member commission on which the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state House and state Senate sit.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Picks Democrat-Favored Congressional Map

Democrats celebrated and Republicans demurred Wednesday after the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court selected the state’s new congressional map.

In so doing, the court overturned a decision earlier this month by Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R) to allow implementation of a redistricting plan passed by the GOP-led General Assembly but vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf (D). The initial version of the legislature-approved map was drawn by a private citizen, Amanda Holt of Lehigh County, though legislators modified her plan somewhat.

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Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Corman Calls for Philly District Attorney’s Impeachment

Outrage at Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s (D) leniency toward criminals has driven Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) to call for the prosecutor’s impeachment.

Corman sent a letter to leaders of the GOP-run state House of Representatives asking them to seek Krasner’s removal. In his missive, the lawmaker deplored the city’s sharp present rise in violent crime and said the district attorney has played a major role in that spike by allowing many offenders to escape punishment.

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Pennsylvania Commission’s Redistricting Proposals Draw Ire for Gerrymandering

PA State Rep. Bryan Cutler

After years of Pennsylvania Democrats excoriating Republicans for gerrymandering, the 2021 Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s state-level redistricting proposals are drawing ire from members of both parties.

Republicans have broadly opposed the preliminary redistricting plan for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and at least one Senate Democrat, Lisa Boscola (Bethlehem), is incensed about changes to her chamber’s map.

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Voter-Integrity Amendments Pass the Pennsylvania House

A set of amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution, including a voter-identification requirement, passed the state House of Representatives this week on nearly party-line votes.

To become part of the state Constitution, the proposed amendments must pass in two consecutive sessions of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and must gain approval by a majority of voters in an election. State House members voted on these measures as amendments to a Senate bill that would let gubernatorial candidates select their own running mates, whereas current law lets Pennsylvanians vote to elect nominees for lieutenant governor.

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Bill to Require Post-Election Audits in Pennsylvania Advances with Support of Philadelphia Democrat

State Rep. Regina Young (D-PA-Philadelphia) voted with all Republican House State Government Committee members this week in favor of a bill to require post-election audits. 

The legislation to verify the accuracy of election outcomes will thus go before the full Pennsylvania House with at least a modicum of bipartisanship, making it more difficult for Democrats to call the bill merely “a reactionary thing being done because of the last election,” as Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) did at the committee meeting.

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Pennsylvania House Speaker Seeks ‘Full Audit’ of Election Returns Before Certification

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler is calling for a “full audit” of the presidential election returns in the state before the results are certified.

In his letter to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting the audit on Friday, Cutler, a Republican, cited the Oct. 21 guidance from Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar about allowing individuals with rejected mail-in ballots to vote with a provisional ballot as a way to “cure” their ballot.

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