CENTREVILLE, VA – Today, Air Force Veteran and Small Business Owner Donte Tanner announced his plan to fight gerrymandering in Virginia by instituting an independent redistricting commission. The purpose of this commission is to redraw the lines, with electoral politics taken out of the equation.
“It’s time we give the voters the right back to choosing their elected officials — not the other way around.” Said Tanner, “Nothing gets done when we are yelling at each other from both ends of the field. We need fairer elections to promote bipartisan governing, and to have a government that gets things done, rather than just grandstanding.”
Donte’s plan to enact an independent commission will look much like California’s system. Here are the details:
The Commission will be composed of 14 members: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 members belonging to neither party. Their selection process will be done by the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts. Of the pool of Democrats and Republicans, the majority and minority leaders of the House of Delegates will be able to strike up to two potential commissioners from the selected pool.
The drawing criteria will be:
Electoral Fairness: Districts should be drawn as closely to a 50/50 margin split as possible. This should be determined by an average of the precincts electoral results in gubernatorial cycles, presidential cycles, and off-off year election cycles.
Contiguity: Districts should be one whole contiguous district, with all parts adjacent to each other.
Compactness: The district should be compact, with its constituents living as near as possible to each other. Examples of a not compact district would be Virginia Delegate District 72.
Community Boundaries: Communities, incorporated and unincorporated should be taken into consideration.
Donte knows this is just the beginning to solve a very difficult, but important problem in Virginia. This plan is meant to start a discussion, and Donte will be meeting with leaders and experts throughout the commonwealth to discuss his plan to end gerrymandering.