RICHMOND, Va. — A newly-released Mason-Dixon poll shows tremendous support for Virginia lawmakers to take up a redistricting amendment that can help prevent legislators from drawing district lines that could favor their party.
A crucial second vote of the bipartisan redistricting amendment is set to happen after the General Assembly convenes in a few days. If the proposal passes in the 2020 legislative session, it will go on the ballot for state voters to decide.
The poll surveyed 625 registered Virginia voters in mid-December 2019, asking survey respondents if they supported or opposed the General Assembly passing the amendment.
They found that 72% supported the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would establish a redistricting commission made up of vetted citizens and legislators.
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The strongest support came from northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond. Around 78 % of respondents in northern Virginia, 76% in Hampton Roads and 71% in Richmond supported the amendment.
You can read that survey below:
A CNU/Wason Center survey also showed great support for the amendment, with 70% approval from respondents.
In 2018, the idea for the commission was introduced by advocacy group OneVirginia2021. Group members cite the pervasive issue of redistricting and that citizens are tired of state district lines being drawn to favor a particular political party.
State lawmakers passed the amendment in the 2019 legislative session. It needs to pass in the 2020 session, which starts Jan. 8, then it will be up for vote on the state ballot. If it passes among state voters, a redistricting commission would be created and Virginia district lines can be redrawn in 2021.
Local lawmakers like Senators Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) support the amendment. They introduced legislation right before the end of 2019 that seeks to ensure diversity among the redistricting commission, prohibits gerrymandering and sets up clear, non-partisan criteria for the Virginia Supreme Court to follow.