Governor Northam’s amendments would have ensured voters can choose their elected officials
Richmond, VA—Progress Virginia, the commonwealth’s leading voice for progressive values, today strongly condemned legislative Republicans’ rejection of amendments to institute real redistricting reform in Virginia. Senate and House Republicans rejected proposed language to ensure Virginia voters can choose their elected officials instead of allowing politicians to choose their voters. Republicans also rejected proposed language to ensure communities of color have a say in choosing who represents them. The underlying bills to which Governor Northam offered amendments, SB106 and HB1598, are toothless message bills that do nothing to change current standards and criteria around redistricting.
“It’s simply outrageous that Republican politicians would reject reforms to ensure Virginia voters get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “There seem to be no low these politicians won’t stoop to in order to ensure they’re able to continue to rig elections without accountability. It’s particularly offensive that after a federal court ruled in 2016 Virginia politicians had drawn unfair congressional district lines designed to deny black Virginians a real voice in choosing their elected officials, these same politicians would reject reforms to prevent them from targeting communities of color again.”