Bobby Vassar and Wyatt Durrette column: On redistricting, Virginia can do better.

The issue of fair electoral districts is profoundly important to both of us — one a Democrat, the other a Republican. This is why both of us have worked during the past decade to right the wrongs of Virginia’s outdated and discriminatory redistricting laws.

We are campaign co-chairs of the recently launched Fair Maps Virginia ballot campaign, and we worked together to help draft the original version of the Virginia constitutional redistricting amendment now pending approval in November.

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It's time to change Virginia's Redistricting

There's a better way to draw fair districs.

The commission will end unfair laws.

By voting to support the amendment, Virginians will finally create a fair and inclusive process that will replace our outdated and discriminatory laws. This will ensure that legislative district lines are drawn fairly and do not favor one party over the other.

The commission will be led by citizens.

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.

The commission will protect civil rights.

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.""

The commission will be transparent.

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