Trib editorial: Clarify Pa.’s new congressional districts
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s new congressional-district map remains controversial but is in effect, starting with the May 15 primary. That leaves some area municipal officials fretting about how their communities’ needs will fare in the U.S. House amid changes in these districts and who will represent them — and many voters no doubt confused about how the new map affects them.
Ultimately, it’s voters’ responsibility to inform themselves. But they reasonably look to county elections officials for helpful information. As of Friday:
â¢ Allegheny County’s elections website had a link to a list that tells voters, by municipality, their old and new congressional districts and who their congressman is.
â¢ Westmoreland County’s elections website did have a “Find Your Legislative/Senatorial District” link, which did bring up a list of voting precincts and districts, including congressional districts. But unfortunately, they’re districts from the old congressional map, not the new one.
• Both counties’ elections websites had links to the same Pennsylvania Department of State polling-place locator page. It doesn’t clarify voters’ congressional districts, and voters who try to use it may give up on finding their congressional district because it’s a confusing, error-riddled mess, with the “city” drop-down menu misspelling community names and including multiple entries for single communities.
With the primary less than six weeks away, voters and elections officials need to quickly do the work necessary to clarify the new congressional districts’ effects.