Making Democracy Work

Gerrymandering

One of the biggest concerns with election fairness today is the problem of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering affects Berks County directly, as much of the county was carved up into odd, illogically shaped districts after the last national census to help incumbents stay in power. Click on the information below to learn more about gerrymandering and redistricting, and what you can do to help end this unfair practice in Pennsylvania.

What is Gerrymanding?

'The Gerrymander' March 1812 Political Cartoon

The word "gerrymander" is a portmanteau of "Gerry" and "salamander". Elbridge Gerry was the governor of Massachusetts at a time when the congressional districts had been redrawn in such a bizarre way to help incumbents stay in power that the shape of one district looked, to some, like a salamander. The word has been used to describe how congressional districts are redrawn after the 10 year Census, when a state gains or loses population and thus gains or loses congressional seats. When districts are drawn to favor or disadvantage one group or another, this is gerrymandering.

Fair Districts PA

The League of Women Voters of Berks County is proud to partner with Fair Districts PA to ensure fair districts and maintain the integrity of elections in our state. Please visit

Fair Districts PA

Take Action

To find your PA state legislator, click the following link and enter your address. Find your Legislator

  • Contact your legislator to ask them if they support redistricting reform. Tell them that you oppose the unfair drawing of district maps to favor one party over the other and that you believe gerrymandering weakens our democracy.

  • The most effective way to get your message across is to talk to your legislator in person, but if you can't do that, calling is the next best option. Writing a letter or sending a postcard is also effective. Emails tend to get buried under the sheer volume of emails your legislator receives, and social media comments rarely get any attention at all.

  • Be sure to be polite, state your name and address clearly (so that she or he knows you are one of her or his constituents) and then thank your legislator for her or his time.

  • MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Tell everyone you know to contact their state legislators, too! Spread the message on social media. Talk to your friends and family and help educate them about gerrymandering and what they can do about it! When legislators get inundated with calls and letters, THEY DO LISTEN!