Anti-gerrymandering bill survives Senate
For the past six years, State Senator Creigh Deeds has introduced bills that would amend the state constitution to make redistricting based on population, not politics. Not surprisingly, those bills have always died in committee– until yesterday, when SJR 352 passed the Senate.
Deeds proposes a 13-person nonpartisan commission to redraw voting districts with population as the sole demographic. That means the electorate would choose the elected instead of the current method of the elected choosing their voters– and it's an idea even Deeds admits is "radical."
The bill faces the House of Delegates, and it must pass two sessions of the General Assembly and be approved by voters to change the constitution. If that happens, "Virginia will join a growing list of states which have taken partisanship out of the redistricting process," says Deeds. But can Virginia give up its gerrymandering history?