The Washington Post: Virginia Democrats have cold feet on redistricting reform. Voters shouldn’t be fooled.

NOW THAT Virginia stands at the cusp of adopting a bipartisan redistricting process — an anti-gerrymandering, pro-transparency reform that most of the state’s top Democrats embraced, lobbied and campaigned on for years — it is the state Democratic Party itself that is opposing it. That’s ironic and disappointing, but maybe not surprising: Last fall, for the first time in a generation, the party took control of both houses of the state legislature, meaning that it is now free to draw its own voting maps, choose its own voters and preserve its own power, just as Republicans who controlled Richmond tried to do for the past decade.

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By voting to support the amendment, Virginians will finally create a fair and inclusive process that will replace our outdated and discriminatory laws.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