I read with interest Cynthia Fernandez’s front-page piece in today’s Inquirer.    

There is one very relevant consideration in this debate which, tragically, receives nary a word.  As of June 2020, there were 4,092,963 (47.6%) registered Democrats, 3,290,944 (38.3%) registered Republicans and 1,215,657 (14.1%) registered voters belonging to neither of the two major parties.  The latter group is skewed to the low side as Pennsylvania does not have an open primary system and many voters, such as myself, finds themselves having to register as a Democrat or Republican to vote in the primaries. 

Nationally, a Pew Research Poll found 34% of registered voters were classified as Independents, 33% as Democrats and 29% as Republicans.  Given an open primary system, it is likely that these percentages would far more accurately reflect the political persuasions of the commonwealth’s citizenry.

However, today, Pennsylvania’s districts are drawn by a five-person panel, made up of two Democratic and two Republican leaders from the legislature plus a fifth person the party leaders agree upon or that person will be selected by the State Supreme Court.  This system effectively disenfranchises between 14% and 34% of voters in the redistricting process.