Harrisburg man among winners of congressional map drawing contest

Harrisburg

Gerrymandered congressional maps were one of the biggest political stories in Pennsylvania last year.

The state Supreme Court tossed out older maps then redrew their own, sending elections and campaigns into turmoil.

But can citizens do better? That was the challenge presented by a group called Draw The Lines PA. 

A map drawing contest was open to everyday citizens. On Wednesday, the winners were announced at the Capitol. 

Jesse Stowell of Harrisburg won second place. 

He says he was motivated because his neighbors in uptown were represented by a different congressman, which just felt wrong to him. 

“It didn’t make sense that our neighbors were represented by someone different than we were when we all had the same interests. We all cared about how the city was represented and we all had — generally, we all cared about similar things and yet we couldn’t figure out why we were being divided,” said Stowell. 

The broader point of the exercise was to draw attention and transparency to the normally closed-door and partisan process of drawing electoral maps.

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