News - News

  • Draw NC legislative districts without politics? Talks underway

    February 03, 2015 • News

    Republicans in 2011 carved North Carolina into new districts from which public officials are elected, creating 170 areas for state lawmakers and 13 for members of Congress in a required effort to maintain balanced populations. Democrats and left-leaning groups complained that the new maps intentionally deflated their candidates’ chances in the state and federal elections, […]

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  • Election law changes aid politicians

    February 02, 2015 • News

    When politicians tinker with the laws governing their own elections, one should view their proposals with a guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude. Almost always, the politicians proclaim that they are acting in the public interest to make elections fairer. And almost always, election law changes would improve the politicians’ chances of holding their offices or advancing up the […]

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  • Schwarzenegger muscles into Arizona redistricting suit

    January 29, 2015 • News

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has muscled his way into an Arizona political dispute. The former California governor is one of a number of people defending the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in a lawsuit headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the whole article here: AZ Central

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  • Via.Senate’s approval of redistricting reform a good first step

    January 28, 2015 • News

    On Monday, the Virginia Senate did the right thing. The House of Delegates appears poised to undo the good work. Read the whole article here: Richmond Times-Dispatch

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  • A One-Two Punch Against the Initiative Process at the Supreme Court

    January 28, 2015 • News

    An Arizona case before the U.S. Supreme Court that challenges the state’s ballot initiative created redistricting commission could have such an effect on California politics that three former California governors, noted California political scientists, and a California state commission have all filed briefs in the case. Read the whole article here: Fox & Hounds

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  • Incumbency overwhelms democracy

    January 28, 2015 • News

    The effort to promote fairer, more competitive elections in state and federal legislative races received a big boost this week after a bipartisan coalition of state senators approved the first reading of a proposed constitutional amendment to overhaul Virginia’s redistricting process. Read the whole article here: The Virginian-Pilot

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  • General Assembly Briefs – Jan. 27

    January 27, 2015 • News

    Senate approves bill for redistricting The Senate approved legislation that would establish a new method for drawing state and congressional district boundaries. Read the whole article here: Richmond Time-Dispatch

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  • Commission Would Redraw Legislative Boundaries

    January 27, 2015 • News

    The Senate approved legislation on Monday that would create a commission to redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries. Read the whole article here: The Virginian-Pilot

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  • League of Women Voters Joins Fight to Defend Independent Redistricting Commissions

    January 26, 2015 • News

    The League of Women Voters (LWV) has filed an amicus brief (friend of the court) in the U.S. Supreme Court case Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The LWV sides with the independent redistricting commission (and lower court), arguing that the state legislature acts in an extremely hyper-partisan manner, which only hurts the […]

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  • General Assembly: Redistricting reform, two-term governor bills advance

    January 25, 2015 • News

    Annual efforts to change the way Virginia draws election districts and to allow a second term for governors moved forward last week at the Capitol. They won bipartisan support in lopsided Senate committee votes, but continue to face an uphill climb that has toppled similar measures for years. Legislative leaders from both chambers didn’t give […]

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  • A scenario under which assembly elections actually matter

    January 24, 2015 • News

    With a 2-to-1 majority in the House of Delegates, Republicans ordinarily have little to fear. Their disciplined, sharply conservative caucus can and will use its hefty presence to thwart Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe on a health care fix, gun control and any issue that’s essential this legislative election year to revving up the base — […]

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  • Redistricting reform: A win for bipartisanship

    January 22, 2015 • News

    Redistricting can be one of the most contentious issues in state politics, especially in Ohio where the drawing of the district lines lies in the hands of the majority party. That is until House Joint Resolution 12 was passed by the General Assembly last month, and is scheduled to appear on the Ohio ballot in […]

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  • No choice, no voice at the ballot box

    January 20, 2015 • News

    In the 2014 election, 47 percent – nearly half – of N.C. General Assembly candidates ran completely unopposed. That means the only steps these members had to take to secure their seats were to file paperwork and pay the filing fee. Read the whole article here: The Voter Update

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  • New Coalition Aims to Keep General Assembly Transparent

    January 19, 2015 • News

    There’s a new coalition in town, and it aims to police the General Assembly and its policies so that citizens are always in the know. Read/Listen to the whole article here: WVTF

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  • How gerrymandering cost Virginia its Medicaid expansion

    January 16, 2015 • News

    Get ready for the Virginia version of the hit film “Groundhog Day.” In the coming weeks, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) again will try mightily to persuade members of the General Assembly to support Medicaid expansion. They will almost certainly refuse, just as they did in 2014. Read the whole article here: The Washington Post

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  • New Coalition Pushes for Better Transparency Laws

    January 15, 2015 • News

    Transparency Virginia aims to improve citizen participation and understanding of the General Assembly. Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, said the group’s goals include the fair consideration of all legislation and advance notice of committee and subcommittee meetings. Read the whole article here: Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

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  • New transparency Coalition to Monitor General Assembly Session

    January 13, 2015 • News

    Almost 20 nonprofits and advocacy groups have formed a new coalition called Transparency Virginia that intends to track how accessible the General Assembly’s work is to citizens during this year’s session. Read the whole article here: Richmond Times-Dispatch

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  • Editorial: Redo redistricting process

    January 07, 2015 • News

    It looks like redistricting may be a hot topic in the General Assembly’s upcoming session. Last week another lawsuit was filed questioning Virginia’s political district-drawing methods. This time a group of voters have challenged a dozen House of Delegates district boundaries. The federal lawsuit claims black voters were illegally packed into certain districts, diluting their […]

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  • Editorial should be required reading for GA

    January 04, 2015 • News

    Your recent editorial “Fix It,” endorsing the recommendations for redistricting reform by the governor’s bipartisan Commission on Integrity, should be required reading for every delegate and senator in the General Assembly. Read the whole article here: The Richmond Times-Dispatch

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  • Boucher: First step in ending gridlock

    January 04, 2015 • News

    The gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts is a bipartisan offense. Members of the Virginia Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government are proposing a bipartisan solution. Read the whole article here: The Virginian Pilot

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  • VA Ethics Panel: Remove Politicians from Redistricting Process

    December 22, 2014 • News

    Virginia’s ethics panel officially voted Monday to take politicians out of the redistricting process, and have an independent group draw up voting precincts. Read the whole story here: NBC 29

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  • Competition and Fairness

    November 01, 2014 • News

    Daily Progress – November 1, 2014 “Not to take anything away from Rep. Scott, a dedicated public servant, but absence of a competitive campaign hurts residents of the 3rd District. They would be served by a spirited debate of ideas among candidates eager to win their vote.” Read the article from the Daily Progress here. 

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  • Virginia’s Redistricting Dilemma

    October 23, 2014 • News

    Virginian-Pilot – October 23, 2014 “When the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a provision of the Voting Rights Act last year, I never expected it would affect Virginia. But the recent district court ruling invalidating the 3rd Congressional District brings Virginia under a new set of rules.” Read the article from “PilotOnline” here.

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  • Forum Generates Many Questions On Redistricting

    October 15, 2014 • News

    Virginia Gazette – October 15, 2014 “Whether voters should choose their leaders or politicians should choose their own voters was the central questions of Tuesday evening’s forum on redistricting.” Read the article from the Virginia Gazette here. 

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  • Redistricting reform should start now

    August 21, 2014 • News

    Virginian-Pilot – August 21, 2014 “There were no surprises in Tuesday’s special elections. Voters in each of the three districts performed as expected. Thanks to the last redistricting, it’s unlikely we’ll see an interparty upset any time soon.” Read the article from “PilotOnline” here.

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