Opinion: Vote yes on Virginia’s Amendment 1

The League of Women Voters of Virginia has been working to encourage informed and active participation in government since it was formed in 1920. As its president, one of my top priorities has been to put power back in the hands of voters to participate in an open and inclusive redistricting process.

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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By voting to support the amendment, Virginians will finally create a fair and inclusive process that will replace our outdated and discriminatory laws.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