PRESS RELEASE: Republicans Call for Redistricting Reform

February 13, 2017
For Immediate Release: February 13, 2017 
Brian Cannon, Executive Director
[email protected]

RICHMOND, VA –  In a press conference this morning, advocates from OneVirginia2021 along with Senator Jill Vogel (R-Winchester) spoke in favor of the three redistricting reform bills coming over from the Virginia Senate to the House of Delegates.  The vote on the bills (SJ 290SJ 231, and SB 846) is expected Tuesday morning in the House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee on Elections at 7AM in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room.

In the press conference, Vogel acknowledged her longstanding partnership with the bipartisan redistricting reform organization OneVirginia2021.  “This is no longer a Republican versus Democrat issue.  We have overwhelming bipartisan support for redistricting reform,” Vogel said.

Speaking about the excessive gerrymandering plaguing Virginia, Vogel said, “Where there’s the greatest overreach, there’s clearly the greatest harm.  The result is bad for everybody.”

Charles “Chuck” McPhillips, a Republican and civic leader in Hampton Roads, also spoke about the “high-tech and seedy backroom practice of divvying up unlimited terms of office among fellow incumbents.  It corrupts our democracy by making elections irrelevant.”  He added, “Rather than stuffing the ballot box, incumbents are stuffing their districts.”

OneVirginia2021 has advocated for all three bills in this session. Votes on similar measures that originated in the House were dodged by parliamentary maneuver. Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, challenged the House to face the reform directly. “Virginians are looking for leaders who will not be afraid to stand up for fair, competitive elections, rather than a system in which incumbents pick their own voters and redraw district lines to their own advantage,” he said.