Election season is coming! We can start voting in just a few weeks, and whether you plan to vote by mail, vote early in person, or vote on Election Day, you’re probably thinking about how you are going to vote. You probably know how you are voting for president, but have you thought about the constitutional amendments?
This year, there’s an amendment that enshrines in our state constitution the power for politicians to pick their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. We need to vote no on this partisan political power grab and ensure that the power stays with the people, not power-hungry politicians. Here are three reasons to vote no on this partisan political power grab.
1. Extreme Far-Right Politicians like Ken Cuccinelli, Todd Gilbert, and Kirk Cox are all about it. That’s a recipe for disaster.
You know that if extreme far-right politicians like Ken Cuccinelli and Todd Gilbert are for something, it can’t be good. Though they want you to think this is a bipartisan amendment that everyone supports, it is really an attempt by Republicans to regain their power on the backs of Black and Brown communities. That’s right; this amendment is so flawed that it not only allows politicians to continue to rig the rules and choose their districts and voters, but it also fails to provide full protections and equal representation for people of color. So there’s nothing to stop racist politicians from diluting Black and Brown people’s voting power to rebuild their own Sound far fetched? Think again. That’s just what happened in 2011. We can do better. We must vote no on 1!
2. We can’t get clean maps with dirty politics
We all want clean elections that result in elected leaders representing the community they are elected to serve. But we can’t get there with dirty maps drawn by politicians who are more interested in protecting their power than ensuring our voices are heard in our democracy. Politicians need to be removed entirely from the process of drawing political boundaries. We need to give the power back to the people where it belongs. We can create a commission of concerned voters and experts who can draw fair, compact districts that ensure communities of color are protected, and everyone can make their voice heard equally. So let’s vote no on 1, so we can get it right.
3. Amending the state Constitution is a BFD
Amending the constitution isn’t like changing a law or passing a bill. It’s incredibly challenging to go back and change it later. How difficult? We’ll put it this way–Virginia’s unconstitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is STILL in our constitution! We can’t go back and change it later—it is permanent! And it’s a big deal! So we should make sure that we’re getting it right before we enshrine something permanently in our constitution.
The amendment on the ballot this November is deeply flawed. It not only doesn’t solve the problem of getting politicians out of drawing their own districts, but it also fails the equity test and actively harms communities of color. We can do better. And if we’re going to amend the constitution, we must do better. We don’t have to choose between this flawed amendment or nothing. We can go back to the drawing board and ensure that what we are putting in one of our most important documents is fair, just, and equitable. So let’s do it by voting no on one.
Vote No On One
We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. To make that a reality, we need to clean up our maps and ensure that we have a fair redistricting process. But this deeply flawed constitutional amendment isn’t the way to do that. Vote no on one so that we can get it right, give the power back to the people, and ensure that our maps are fair and equitable for everyone.