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Virginia Redistricting Commission comes up with two potential maps

One of two potential maps show how the current 26th district becomes split up.
One of two potential maps show how the current 26th district becomes split up.(whsv)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Virginia’s Redistricting Commission has two of its possible new state legislative maps, but political analysts say the hard part is not over.

Republicans and Democrats presented their maps at Monday’s commission meeting to scale back gerrymandering.

The commission, made up of 16 members, was approved by voters during last year’s election and was formed to cut down on partisan and racial gerrymandering.

Bob Roberts, a political analyst who teaches at James Madison University, says one of the local takeaways is that the Democrats’ map would change Tony Wilt’s 26th district.

He says this would create a new district, covering Harrisonburg down to Bridgewater and everything west.

The proposed maps do renumber districts and also shift districts. This would move the boundaries of who legislators represent for most representatives.

While time was spent by two consultants on the maps, Roberts believes the decision will still be left up to Virginia’s Supreme Court.

“Unless there’s a deal struck somehow between the Republicans and trading district and stuff like that, the commission doesn’t work like that,” Roberts says. “Therefore what’s likely to happen is this goes to the State Supreme Court and the Supreme Court will have to hire a consultant and that consultant will have to redraw the maps again.”

The commission has until Oct. 10 to reach an agreement before presenting to state legislators.

The new district lines will not impact this upcoming election.

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