What’s the Deal With Redistricting in Virginia?

This November, voters will head to their polling places to elect new members of the House of Delegates and state Senate. But, how mad would you be if I told you the outcomes of those elections had already been decided?

Yeah. Me too.

You see, every 10 years the legislature gets to redraw their district boundaries. And in too many instances, politicians use the opportunity to rig their elections so they simply can’t lose. They choose their voters, instead of allowing voters to choose their elected officials.

Here in Virginia, conservative politicians know that their backwards policies are out of step with our communities. So last time around they went a step further than just rigging their districts–they packed black voters into a few districts to reduce their political power and limit the ability of voters of color to impact elections and policy.

The district lines were so obviously discriminatory to communities of color that people sued and federal courts have agreed: conservative politicians unconstitutionally discriminated against black voters by packing them into a few districts to limit their political power. To fix it, the court is drawing new districts that will be fair to everyone.

(Basically the court’s reaction to the Virginia GOP).

So Virginia is going to get fair lines. But it took years and millions of dollars in lawsuits just to make sure that everyone gets a real, equal say in choosing their elected officials.

We have to redraw the lines every 10 years and that process starts again in 2021. That means by the time the court fixes the discriminatory lines, it’ll be almost time to start all over again.

It’s on all of us to come together to make sure the next process is more fair. When politicians rig their elections, it means we can’t hold them accountable when they vote against health care access, education funding, tackling climate change, and more.

So this year, we’re supporting HBXXX from Delegate Marcia Price. It would make a simple change to require politicians to respect communities of color in the redistricting process so that everyone has an equal voice, no exceptions.