51 by 51: Virginia Independent Redistricting Commission

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51 by 51

Virginia Independent Redistricting Commission

This year the Republican-led House of Delegates put forward a responsible and reasonable plan to allow all future redistricting plans to be handled by an independent commission, without taking the constitutional authority away from the General Assembly.

If the current ongoing redistricting fight has taught us anything, it is that the plan developed fully by the legislature can have broad bipartisan support and still get tied up in endless legal battles for nearly a decade.

The current maps were supported by Republicans and Democrats, including then-Senator Northam, a majority of the Black Caucus, and approved by the Obama Justice Department – yet Democrats are still tying up the plan in federal court trying to get it overturned.

By establishing the “Virginia Independent Redistricting Commission” a bipartisan group of citizens will work together to develop redistricting plans to submit to the General Assembly for an up or down vote. The Commission will be required to use objective criteria to develop its plan, including an effort to strive for political parity when developing a map. If we’re going to have a fair map, we should have a fair map. This constitutional amendment will have to be passed by the legislature again next year before being sent to the voters for consideration in November of 2020.

Creating the Virginia Independent Redistricting Commission is another one of the 51 accomplishments by the 51 members of the Republican-led House of Delegates.

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