Voters approve Amendment 1: Democrats willingly give up control of redistricting
Virginia voters, by a more than 2-to-1 margin, have approved a constitutional amendment establishing a non-partisan redistricting commission.
Amendment 1 passed with more than 2 million Virginians voting yes. Just over 994,000 voted against the amendment, which will establish a redistricting commission consisting of eight members of the General Assembly and eight citizens of the Commonwealth that will be responsible for drawing congressional and state legislative districts.
The process set out by the amendment ultimately gives power to the Supreme Court of Virginia to act if the General Assembly fails to approve districts drawn by the commission.
Basically, congratulations, Democrats, for all the hard work to win control of the House and Senate in 2019.
Republicans drew the political lines in 2001 and 2011 because they held the General Assembly and governor’s office in those redistricting years.
Brilliant move on their part to get Democrats to neuter themselves ahead of 2021.
Anyway, here is a joint statement from FairMapsVA Executive Director Brian Cannon and FairMapsVA Campaign Co-Chairs Wyatt Durrette and Bobby Vassar:
“From the start, this movement has been about putting the voices of citizens above politicians and political parties. Today, Virginia voters spoke loud and clear in approving Amendment 1.
In creating a bipartisan redistricting commission, they said they want a seat at the table when district lines are drawn next year and beyond. They said they want a transparent redistricting process. They want civil rights protections to be added to the state constitution for the very first time. And they said that they want to end partisan gerrymandering in Virginia once and for all.
“Tonight is historic. Six years ago, our parent organization, OneVirginia2021, embarked on a mission to reform the long-broken redistricting system in Virginia. Our team has recruited hundreds of grassroots volunteers, spoken to a countless number of local community organizations across the Commonwealth, and lobbied state lawmakers to further this cause.
“Today, over 2 million Virginians joined this mission, and Virginia has now become the first state in the South to create a bipartisan redistricting commission to draw electoral district lines.
We thank the supporters, volunteers, current and past members of our boards, and anyone that has helped us with their time, donations or ideas along the way.
“Tonight, we celebrate the formation of Virginia’s first citizen-led redistricting commission; and tomorrow, we get back to work to ensure the commission’s work is successful.”
Story by Chris Graham