THE GREATER THE POWER, so the saying goes, the greater the abuse. The power to design election districts is undeniably great. Its abuse — gerrymandering boundaries to favor one party or hurt the other — undermines democracy itself. Losing faith in fair elections erodes people’s trust in government.
In the upcoming 2019 General Assembly session, the people of Virginia have an opportunity to reclaim fair elections and to renew that trust.
A bipartisan citizens committee has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia that would transfer the power to draw legislative districts from the legislators themselves to an independent commission. Enshrining fair redistricting in the state constitution would elevate it to a right that can’t be taken away.