Every ten years, all 50 states redraw their electoral district lines. And in Virginia, this important responsibility is entrusted to members of the General Assembly.
This has led to politicians picking their voters, when it should be the other way around. For centuries, elected officials have drawn maps to keep themselves in power.
There's a better way to draw fair districts.
And this November, voters have a chance to approve a constitutional amendment to create Virginia’s first-ever redistricting commission. If passed, it would be the most significant improvement to the way districts are drawn in the history of our Commonwealth. Here's why.
By voting to support the amendment, Virginians will finally create a fair and inclusive process that will replace our outdated and discriminatory redistricting laws.
Politicians will no longer have free rein to choose whoever they want to represent. It’s time to put people over politicians by including citizens in the process for the first time, and having a citizen serve as chair of the commission itself.
Historic voting rights protections for minority communities will be added to the Virginia Constitution for the first time. In fact, Justin Levitt, a former Obama administration Justice Department official said that the “amendment requires adherence to the Voting Rights Act … and then goes beyond.”
Instead of shady backroom deals, the new system will be completely transparent to voters and watchdogs. Public meetings will be held across Virginia, with all data and notes from the meetings being completely open to the public
That's why the amendment has been endorsed by anti-gerrymandering groups and advocacy organizations in Virginia and across the country.
Maybe Orwell had the date wrong. Maybe what he really meant to write was “2020.” There are lots of reasons why 2020 might be considered Orwellian, but here’s one close to home. Some Virginia Democrats are urging a “no” vote against the proposed constitutional amendment dealing with redistricting that’s on this year ballot by invoking the argument “No Gerrymandering. Vote No on Amendment #1.” This is an Orwellian perversion of the facts.read more