Commonwealth’s redistricting effort still linked to race, says Virginia Tech professor

The commission has until Oct. 10 to submit recommendations to the General Assembly

Discussion over Virginia redistricting continues

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The clock is ticking for Virginia’s redistricting commission, as it works to redraw election district maps.

The state’s first bipartisan, citizen-led redistricting commission has an Oct. 10 deadline to submit its recommendations to the General Assembly.

Failure to reach an agreement would send the matter to Virginia’s Supreme Court. One of their goals is to avoid gerrymandering. Racial representation remains a leading obstacle, according to Nicholas Goedert, a political science professor at Virginia Tech.

“Republican maps [are] tending to concentrate black voters in a smaller number of districts, where they constitute a majority or a supermajority of the vote in those districts; while Democrats want to spread black voters across more districts, where they have more opportunities,” said Goedert.

This comes as the central region of the redistricting commission held a virtual, public hearing Wednesday, where some spoke out in support of protecting black voters.

About the Author:

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