Virginia Redistricting Commission moves forward with citizen applications

Some Democratic lawmakers concerned with citizen applicant pool

ROANOKE, VA. – Virginia’s newly formed redistricting commission is drawing criticism after completing its first major step.

Voters said yes to Amendment One back in November which enacted the commission. Now, a hybrid legislator-citizen team will re-draw Virginia’s district lines which both parties have accused of being gerrymandered over the years.

But the citizen applicants are under fire by some state lawmakers because the candidate pool is not as diverse as they wanted. The plan split Democrats with party leadership standing against it, while some, like Delegate Sam Rasoul, supported the plan.

Delegate Chris Hurst didn’t support the plan as he thinks redistricting should be done independent of legislators but said people shouldn’t make any assumptions just yet on the applicant pool.

“The applications are different from those who are selected, and just because you have a majority of people who apply who are from the urban crescent or who might be affluent it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s who the party leadership in both chambers are going to select,” Hurst said.

Hurst added he’s confident Southwest Virginia will end up with representation on the commission.

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