“Fair Maps Virginia” Ballot Campaign Launches to Support the Historic Redistricting Constitutional Amendment
RICHMOND, VA – Today, the nonpartisan anti-gerrymandering coalition OneVirginia2021 launched “Fair Maps Virginia,” an advocacy fund specifically dedicated to the passage of the redistricting constitutional amendment on Virginia’s 2020 ballot.
This ballot measure was passed on a bipartisan vote by the Virginia General Assembly during the last two legislative sessions. If approved by voters, it will create the Commonwealth’s first-ever commission to reform our outdated and discriminatory redistricting laws by forming a fully transparent commission led by citizens to draw district lines in 2021 and beyond.
Further, this will mark the first time in Virginia’s history that voting rights protections will be specifically added to the state constitution, and is the only legally-binding option to ensure that legislative district lines are drawn fairly and do not favor one party over the other. Its passage would mark the most significant improvement to the way districts are drawn in the history of our Commonwealth.
The Fair Maps VA campaign is organized under a bipartisan Board of Directors with four Democrats and four Republicans. The Co-Chairs are Democrat Bobby Vassar, a former subcommittee chief counsel for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary and former Virginia Cabinet Official and agency head, and Republican Wyatt Durrette, a former legislator and candidate for Governor of Virginia.
Brian Cannon will continue leading the advocacy efforts as Executive Director of this grassroots campaign, while Liz White has been promoted to Executive Director of OneVirginia2021 Foundation, an independent 501©(3) nonprofit organization with its own educational mission, programs and Board of Directors. She previously served as Cannon’s deputy.
“In Virginia, politicians can pick their voters, when it should be the other way around,” said Fair Maps VA Co-Chair Bobby Vassar. “If this amendment fails, there is absolutely nothing to stop elected officials from doing it again this next year. There’s a better way to draw fair districts in Virginia, and voters finally have an opportunity to approve a measure that would put people over politicians.”
Campaign Co-Chair Wyatt Durrette added, “If voters support the amendment, Virginians will finally ensure that legislative district lines are drawn fairly and do not favor one party over the other. It’s time that politicians will no longer have free rein to choose whoever they want to represent.”
This ballot measure has broad support from a bipartisan list of Virginia-based advocacy groups, nationally-recognized anti-gerrymandering organizations, every major newspaper in Virginia and over 70% of registered voters in the Commonwealth. These supporters include former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Tim Kaine (D), Former Governor George Allen (R), Obama Administration Civil Rights official Justin Levitt and every Senator in Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus.
The Virginia League of Women Voters has also endorsed the amendment, and organization’s President Deb Wake added, “On November 3, Virginia voters have the opportunity to vote yes for the Redistricting Commission that will give citizens a seat at the table rather than leaving district-drawing to politicians in back rooms.”
Additional information about the amendment, its supporters and the Fair Maps VA campaign, visit FairMapsVA.org.
Fair Maps VA Is a registered 501©(4) nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to the passage of the redistricting constitutional amendment on Virginia’s November 2020 ballot, which would form the Commonwealth’s first-ever binding commission to reform our outdated and discriminatory redistricting laws. It is a campaign-specific initiative formed by the nonpartisan reform coalition OneVirginia2021.