Arlington To the Editor:
Thank you for your insightful editorial headlining support for nonpartisan redistricting (“Yes to Nonpartisan Redistricting,” July 9). The League of Women Voters of Virginia has been advocating for a nonpartisan redistricting commission for at least ten years, ever since the last round in 2011 of slicing and dicing up the voting districts so that legislators can choose their voters.
It is difficult to get voters energized enough about this to urge their legislators to give up any power. It is also a fairly complicated concept that comes up only every 10 years.
However, we feel the current process is a serious challenge to our democracy. As you pointed out, a huge number of Virginians are not being fairly represented, especially in northern urban areas. Communities have been cut into multiple pieces with little in common with Virginians miles away. Voters have become disengaged and don’t bother to vote.
Yes, gerrymandering has gone on for centuries and apparently was even invented in Virginia, in spite of its name. But the latest line-drawing technology has taken the process to new “lows.” Look at a map of the congressional and legislative districts to see what has been done to your voting rights.
The League has many resources for becoming informed and for advocating with your legislators, plus copies of the maps mentioned above, on our website. Go to http://lwv-va.org/redistriciting.html.
Another good source of information is a coalition called OneVirginia2021 (onevirginia2021.org) that is gathering support across the state.
It may take a constitutional amendment to effect change. Action must begin now or we will be stuck with the same lopsided, polarized representation through 2030. We urge concerned citizens to join us in this effort.
Lois Page and Dianne Blais
League of Women Voters of Virginia