Virginia Ballot question 1 asks citizens to vote on a constitutional amendment that will shift responsibility for drawing Congressional and General Assembly electoral district maps from the General Assembly and the Governor to a bipartisan commission made up of of 8 state legislators and 8 citizens. Maps must be approved by a super majority of 6 from each group and the General Assembly. If no agreement is reached, the Supreme Court of Virginia becomes responsible.
The amendment received bi-partisan support in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly. It is now up to the voting public to make it law.
The League of Women Voters which has lobbied for an end to gerrymandering, for decades supports a yes vote for amendment 1.
The amendment will be an important step toward fair and open government. Citizens will have meaningful roles in drawing district maps, and the process will be open so the public and press can monitor the commission’s work. In addition, the amendment will likely save tax payers the burden of expensive court challenges to gerrymandered districts and hiring outside professional map-makers.