Virginia’s redistricting argument could strengthen push for independent map drawers

September 17, 2018

Last month, two top House Democrats stood in front of Republican colleagues, facing a cross-examination that resembled a live courtroom.

“Who – who actually drew the map?” asked Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, at a meeting of the House Privileges and Elections committee.

“It was a collective effort,” said Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, and chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus.

Bagby was answering questions about a bill he sponsored that would redraw boundaries for more than two dozen House of Delegates districts. His proposal, developed with the help of the House Democratic Caucus, is a response to a federal court redistricting order. Three judges found that 11 districts are unconstitutionally packed with black voters in order to ensure that surrounding areas are whiter. They ordered a fix by Oct. 30.


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