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Drawing a New Congressional Map

LEWISBURG — People aren’t just puzzled by the way congressional districts are mapped out in Pennsylvania right now, but they’re also puzzled b...

LEWISBURG -- People aren't just puzzled by the way congressional districts are mapped out in Pennsylvania right now, but they're also puzzled by a new plan to re-draw those lines.

"This is not about Republicans or Democrats, it is about Pennsylvanians, and we need to support maps and districts that represent all of us," said Nicole Faraguna of Fair Districts PA to a group of voters on Market Street in Lewisburg.

Voters rallied in downtown Lewisburg to take a stand against a newly proposed map from Republican leadership in Harrisburg. Dozens held signs and called for the end of gerrymandering--the process of drawing districts to favor one party over another.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Jordi Comas last month when the court told lawmakers to redraw the map. He's one of the people who sued for districts that are more fair.

"The old map was an 'F.' I've been a teacher. This is a 'D.' You can do better. I think that this map is a political tactic to get the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to draw a different map," said Comas.

Up until now, Democrat Judy Herschel has been campaigning in the 10th Congressional District. But in the newly proposed map, those lines have moved, and she would live outside the district.

"The proposed map looks gerrymandered to protect Republican incumbents and remove several Democratic candidates from the district that have been running in it including myself," Herschel told Newswatch 16.

The new districts are getting mixed reviews in Lewisburg, and the process by which they were drawn is also under scrutiny.

"I think it's a major improvement in our area in the center of the state and in most of the state I think it's a big improvement," said Drew Bingaman of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania.

While some think the new map is a move in the right direction, others don't like how Republican leaders were the only ones involved in the process. That map still needs the governor's approval.

"One of the main concerns is that it was drawn behind closed doors, so you didnt have the minority leadership at all involved in the process," adds Faraguna.

Governor Wolf has until Thursday to approve the proposed map. If he does not, then the State Supreme Court will oversee the drawing of a new congressional district map.

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