The Virginia House of Delegates today approved Senate Joint Resolution 18, a proposed constitutional amendment creating a nonpartisan Redistricting Commission to draw district lines after each Census. Voters will decide in November whether to adopt the amendment.
“This is a historic moment for redistricting reform – the first time a legislature in a state without the initiative process has sent constitutional redistricting reform to the ballot. We thank the legislators from both parties who voted yes,” said Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Manager for Common Cause. “Every vote should count and every voice should matter. Virginians deserve to have a seat at the redistricting table and a redistricting process that puts the interests of communities above the interests of politicians. We appreciate the dedication shown by delegates from both sides of the aisle to a redistricting process that works for everyone. Today’s vote was an historic step forward.”
The Senate passed the measure last month with overwhelming bipartisan support. Today, the House of Delegates passed it with a bipartisan vote of 54-46. The constitutional amendment will now go before the voters on the November General Election ballot.
Feng said, “Now Virginia voters will have the opportunity in November to decide whether they want redistricting in Virginia to be done behind closed doors by a select group of political insiders, or whether they want their friends and neighbors to have a seat at the table. There is no such thing as a perfect reform, but this is a huge step toward transparent and inclusive democracy as it should be in Virginia.”
The constitutional amendment is supplemented by comprehensive enabling legislation that passed both chambers with broad support.