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Voters decide fate of ‘Amendment One’, but what actually is it?

If passed, redistricting commission would be established

The future of Constitutional Amendment #1 lies in the hands of Virginia voters.
The future of Constitutional Amendment #1 lies in the hands of Virginia voters.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – As voters head to the polls, they’ll be voting on more than candidates. Two Constitutional Amendments are also on the ballot.

Amendment One asks voters to decide whether Virginia should establish a redistricting commission.

The bipartisan group would consist of four Republicans and four Democrats from the General Assembly, as well as eight citizens of the Commonwealth.

If passed, this would be the first time citizens are part of the redistricting process.

The proposed amendment also takes into consideration minority communities when drawing fair districts, as well as making commission meetings and data public.

Right now, legislators draw district lines behind closed doors.

The group ‘Fair Maps VA’ has been pushing for Amendment One to make the ballot for years. Helen Wheelock, one of the group’s volunteers, says voting ‘yes’ eliminates any possible gerrymandering from the majority party.

“When there’s gerrymandering, there’s very little competition for reelection because they’ve already picked their voters. Instead of the voters picking the voters, the politicians have already picked the voters,” she said.

Wheelock added the vote is also important because district lines are drawn every 10 years, following a Census.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.