NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– The Department of Political Science will welcome the chair and co-founder of Fair Districts PA Carol Kuniholm on Feb. 7 to discuss gerrymandering in PA and why maps matter. Kuniholm will talk about the movement to reform the partisan rigging of elections in Mueller Theater at 5:45 p.m.
Gerrymandering is the process of drawing boundaries for elections, and it is often done in a way that advantages one political party over the other. Elections become less competitive as district boundaries are drawn so that it is almost guaranteed that one party wins.
“Gerrymandering has a really important influence on the way that our democracy works,” said political science professor Dr. Shannon Smithey. “It’s one that most people have paid no attention to.”
Kuniholm will provide updates on legal battles surrounding gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and inform attendees of the impact it has on voters. The event is free and open to the public.
“Even though gerrymandering is something that parties do for their own advantage, trying to end gerrymandering is a non-partisan effort,” Smithey said. “It’s something that people care about the integrity of the elections should care about, regardless of their party.”
Kuniholm earned a PhD in American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, worked as a youth pastor with at-risk children in Philadelphia and runs Fair Districts PA.
Fair Districts PA is a nonpartisan, citizen-led, statewide coalition that works to create a process for gerrymandering that is transparent, impartial and fair. It was founded in 2016 and is a part of the League of Women Voters to encourage informed and active participation in government.