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Governor McAuliffe statement on redistricting proposals

Governor-McAuliffeGovernor Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement after the release of new redistricting maps by Democratic legislators and leaders of the NAACP to address racial gerrymandering.

“I want to thank these four lawmakers for the many hours of work they have devoted to the important cause of free and fair elections in Virginia.

“This map offers a stark contrast to the existing map that the U.S. District Court has ruled unconstitutional. These lawmakers created their map by starting from the beginning and erasing the influence of racial and partisan politics that tainted the previous unconstitutional map. The result is a new map based on the principles of equal representation, protection of minority voting rights, compact and contiguous districts, and the integrity of communities of interest.

“It’s my understanding that leaders of the NAACP have also drafted a map. I appreciate their contribution to this important work, and I look forward to reviewing their plan.

“Meanwhile, Republican leaders have yet to give Virginians an opportunity to review their own plan for a new map that meets constitutional criteria. My fear is that they do not have a new map, but will instead attempt to tinker with the old map just enough to get it past federal judges. The three rulings from those judges suggest they are in no mood for half-measures.

“As I stated in my letter on July 28 to General Assembly leaders, my door is open to anyone willing to work together on a serious plan that is responsive to the courts and to the demands of the citizens of Virginia. That invitation still stands.”