By Hunter Britt
Capital News Service
More than half a dozen legislators have been named to a bipartisan redistricting commission which seeks to fairly draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Virginia legislative leaders chose four Republicans and four Democrats this week to sit on the commission. Democrats include Dels. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond and Marcus Simon, D-Falls Church, plus Sens. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, and George Barker, D-Fairfax. The Republicans are Dels. Les Adams, R-Chatham, and Margaret Ransone, R-Westmoreland, as well as Sens. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, and Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg.
Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, speaker of the Virginia House and one of the officials responsible for naming the legislative members of the commission, announced her appointments on Nov. 30. Filler-Corn that McQuinn and Simon are “committed to inclusion” and “dedicated to a fair redistricting process that protects the vote of every Virginian.”
Almost 66 percent of Virginians voted last month in support of an amendment to establish the commission, according to the . Days after the election, state lawmakers agreed to a $135 billion revised budget that included setting . The previous law stated that the General Assembly and the governor had total control over redistricting.
The majority of congressional and state legislative districts in Virginia were redrawn after the 2010 U.S. Census when Republicans controlled both chambers of the General Assembly and the executive branch. The maps are scheduled to be redrawn again next year with final census counts. However, the U.S. Census Bureau a delay to submit redistricting data to states no later than July 31, 2021, instead of April 1.
“I feel like it’s only fair that the people are heard,” Dodson said. “This is America; freedom of speech and government involvement is what we’re all about.”
approved by the commission would go to the General Assembly for a vote. If any are rejected, the commission would be required to produce new maps. If rejected again, the Virginia Supreme Court would establish the new districts.
To be considered, citizens must have lived in Virginia for the past three years. They also must have in at least two of the last three general elections. Citizens who hold, have held or sought to hold a political position or public office will not be considered, nor will lobbyists or people who have served as lobbyists in the last five years. of recommendation are also required to be considered for an appointment.
The applications are due Dec. 28.