RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats are in the spotlight as they argue over how legislative and congressional boundaries should be drawn, with only a few days left to make a decision.
Redistricting reform has been a top priority for Democrats in Virginia and around the country after a tea party wave a decade ago helped Republicans convert big electoral gains into favorable congressional and state legislative maps. Democrats have called those maps political gerrymanders that have helped accelerate polarization and entrench minority rule.
Many Democrats have pledged to back changes to make sure voters pick their politicians and not the other way around, and Virginia represents a key opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.
“All eyes are on Virginia,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former California governor who is an anti-gerrymandering advocate, tweeted earlier this week.
Virginia Democrats are split on what redistricting reforms should look like and lawmakers are continuing to put off any final decisions as this year’s legislative session winds to a close.