Penn State's Banaszak appointed to governor's commission on redistricting reform

November 30, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lee Ann Banaszak, professor and head of the Penn State Department of Political Science, is one of two educational representatives recently appointed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on an independent commission studying redistricting reform.

The Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission includes 15 members representing various government, education and nonpartisan advocacy groups, as well as members of the state legislature. The commission will engage the public, redistricting experts, and other stakeholders in order to make holistic recommendations and emphasize the importance of fair elections.

Banaszak said she’s honored to be part of the commission and have the opportunity to improve an integral part of democracy in Pennsylvania.

“The electoral process is the cornerstone of our democracy, and redistricting shapes the degree to which elections are fair and equitable to all citizens,” she said. “I look forward to learning from the citizens of Pennsylvania, and hope my expertise and analytical insights can contribute to the development of recommendations and best practices that will serve all Pennsylvanians well.”

Congressional maps are drawn every 10 years following the completion of the U.S. Census. Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that the map drawn for the Commonwealth in 2011 was unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering, and a new map was drawn for the 2018 general election. 

The Redistricting Reform Commission's work will provide recommendations on how to implement long-term process changes ahead of the next map creation in 2021.

Banaszak’s research focuses on social movements and gender in politics, particularly the interconnection between political activism, political parties, government and women’s movements. She has been a member of the political science faculty since 1994 and is an affiliate professor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

  • Lee Ann Banaszak, professor and head of the Department of Political Science

    Lee Ann Banaszak, professor and head of the Penn State Department of Political Science, was appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission.

    IMAGE: Tamar London
Last Updated December 17, 2018