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AP projects Virginia votes "yes" to establish a redistricting commission

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Posted at 9:49 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 09:49:04-05

The Associated Press is projecting that the Amendment Redistricting Commission Virginia passed with "Yes."

The question on the ballot read, "Should the Constitution of Virginia be amended to establish a redistricting commission, consisting of eight members of the General Assembly and eight citizens of the Commonwealth, that is responsible for drawing the congressional and state legislative districts that will be subsequently voted on, but not changed by, the General Assembly and enacted without the Governor's involvement and to give the responsibility of drawing districts to the Supreme Court of Virginia if the redistricting commission fails to draw districts or the General Assembly fails to enact districts by certain deadlines?"

Under the current Virginia Constitution, the General Assembly and the Governor are responsible for drawing new election districts for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state Senate, and the House of Delegates. These districts are required to be compact and contiguous, and to have populations that are equal to each other.

The proposed amendment would shift the responsibility of drawing these election districts from the General Assembly and the Governor to a bipartisan commission, made up of 16 people, half being members of the General Assembly and half being citizens of Virginia. This commission would draw the election districts for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state Senate, and the House of Delegates and then submit the maps to the General Assembly for approval. If the commissioners are unable to agree on proposals for maps by a certain date, or if the General Assembly does not approve the submitted maps by a certain date, the commission is allotted additional time to draw new districts, but if maps are not then submitted or approved, the Supreme Court of Virginia becomes responsible for drawing these election districts.

The AP called the projected "yes" vote after 2551 of 2585 precincts were reported which was 99%. There were 66 percent "yes" votes and 34% "no."

Click here for more on the amendment from the Virginia Department of Elections.