Gaming the system

The 10th Congressional District is represented by Tom Marino. Each member of the House of Representatives represents about 647,000 constituents. In the District is the Federal Prison Complex at Allenwood, population 2,900. The United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg has a prison population of 1,400. The Muncy State Correctional Institute prisoner population is 1,358. The total number of non-voting prisoners in the10th correctional district is about 5,658.

The rub is that now Marino is actually only representing 641,342 constituents. This is not an earth shattering difference. But, every vote counts. And now Marino’s votes count just a little more than other politicians who try to comply not only with the actual law but the well-recognized intent of the law. Congressman Marino needs to Gerrymander 5,600 fewer votes than others. This is just one of many ways that our representatives are gaming the system. They do not need to answer to as many constituents and can spend more time attending to nonresident big donors spending thousands of dollars through PACS and other money laundering schemes (hyperbole).

We need to reunite the country, the states and the communities. I know this is possible because I have neighbors who are President Trump supporters. Some voted for Bernie Sanders and some voted for Hillary. Some I suspect voted for Congressman Marino. Yet, we can agree to disagree and still be good neighbors, friendly and helpful. We need a fair and equal democracy where everyone may expect to have their voice heard. We the people can handle it.

Ralph Mark Stephens

Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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