The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Virginia needs to follow the will of the voters on redistricting

The scene inside the Virginia Capitol in Richmond on March 10, the last day of the 2018 Virginia General Assembly regular session.
The scene inside the Virginia Capitol in Richmond on March 10, the last day of the 2018 Virginia General Assembly regular session. (Steve Helber/AP)

The Dec. 8 Metro article “Virginia House options released” — about a federal court refusing to delay a process that could affect redistricting in as many as 26 districts in Virginia — revealed state legislators again resisting any attempts to take districting authority out of their hands. Virginia has some of the most gerrymandered legislative and congressional maps in the country. Efforts to make the procedure nonpartisan were killed in the 2017 General Assembly session.

The Dec. 6 Metro article “Northam, Amazon deal get high marks” reported on a Wason Center for Public Policy poll saying that more than 70 percent of voters supported giving the task to a nonpartisan, independent commission. To do that, the same legislators would have to propose an amendment to the Virginia Constitution no later than next month, when the General Assembly starts its 2019 session, which will last only 30 days. This would start a process that would have to be reaffirmed in the 2020 session to have an amendment decided on by the voters in November 2020.

Given the legal shenanigans over court-ordered redistricting, the more than 70 percent of voters better wake up and tell state legislators that we are tired of them choosing who votes for them. I hope The Post continues to shine a light on what’s happening in the commonwealth. It has been going on long enough.  

Pat Reilly, Marshall, Va.

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