What a Gerrymander-Free Virginia Would Look Like

Everyone knows that Virginia’s redistricting process is an abomination: an occasion for back-room deals in which the power brokers reward their friends, punish their enemies, protect incumbents, split municipalities between multiple representatives and effectively disenfranchise swaths of the electorate.

But let’s see you do better. The Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting, chaired by Bob Holsworth, was tasked with developing principles for Virginia’s 2010 redistricting process and found itself juggling oft-conflicting goals of: (1) creating equally sized districts and (2) maintaining compactness, while (3) not splitting cities and counties or (4) diluting African-American votes. It ain’t easy. But the commission’s efforts did yield a new electoral map for Congress that Virginians can take pride in. Above is the first of three options presented. (The 3rd District is the state’s minority-majority district.)

Consider it a yardstick of truth, justice and the American way with which we can measure whatever the gerrymander artists in the General Assembly devise. (Click map for more legible image.)

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