As the Special Session on congressional redistricting quickly approaches, OneVirginia2021 urges
“While we must ultimately have an independent commission to solve this problem, there are short-term steps the General Assembly can take to improve upon the usually secretive ways politicians draw legislative maps.” said Brian Cannon, Executive Director of OneVirginia2021.
Because Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, transparency should not only include showing citizens the maps before the start of the Special Session, but also having basic questions answered by our elected officials in Richmond:
– Who drew this map? What legislator or legislators drew each map? Was there a software program used? Which one? Were outside consultants engaged?
– How many communities were divided to make this map? Keeping our counties, towns and cities together is essential for good government. Keeping our voting precincts from being split up multiple ways also helps lower voter confusion, saves localities money at the polls, and is a hallmark of respect for local communities.
– Is this a political gerrymander to benefit a party? Was political makeup a driving force behind these maps?
– Will your caucus agree to a resolution supporting non-partisan criteria for maps? Such criteria should include the Virginia Constitutional requirements of compactness, contiguity, and equal population, but should also include respect for localities’ jurisdictional lines, communities of interest, racial and ethic minorities, and a prohibition against using political data to gerrymander Virginia.
“These are basic questions every legislator who introduces a map should be able to answer. Citizens have a right to know,” said Greg Lucyk, President of OneVirginia2021.
OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting is a group of Virginians from across the political spectrum who believes that congressional and state legislative districts belong to the citizens of the Commonwealth, and not to any legislator, political party, or special interest.