Virginia Bipartisan Redistricting Commission Question (2014)

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The Virginia Bipartisan Redistricting Commission Question was not on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Virginia as an advisory question. The measure would have asked voters whether they approve of a bipartisan redistricting commission to propose redistricting plans for state legislative and congressional districts.[1]

This proposed measure was an advisory question, meaning that the question was a non-binding referendum that would not force lawmakers to enact the results.

The measure was proposed by State Representative John Miller (D-1) as Senate Bill 158.[1]

The last time an advisory referendum was on the ballot in Virginia was 1914.[2]

Text of measure

The ballot question would have read as follows:[3]

Should Virginia enact a law to establish a bipartisan Virginia Redistricting Commission that will propose redistricting plans and bills for House of Delegates, state Senate, and congressional districts?[4]

Media editorial positions

Support

  • The Roanoke Times said, "There's no need for a spoiler alert. Independent polls have documented consistent support for reforms that end gerrymandering. Sen. John Miller of Newport News, told the (Fredericksburg) Free Lance-Star that there has not been an advisory referendum since 1914, according to his research, adding, "I think it's fitting every 100 years we ask the people what they think." And the people said, "It's about time."[5]
  • The Virginian-Pilot said, "Members of the minority party are packed into a small number of districts, diluting their strength, while members of the majority enjoy districts that absorb greater proportions of favorable precincts. That deprives voters of actual choice in their representation and, worse, inflames the rank partisanship that has mostly diminished a sense of public service in favor of power, influence and team sport. If nothing else, lawmakers should at least indulge their constituents with an opportunity to consider the alternative."[6]

Path to the ballot

Senate Bill 158, the bill that would require the advisory question, was introduced into the Virginia Senate on December 31, 2013. The bill needed to pass by simple majority in both legislative chambers to be put on the general election ballot in November 2014. SB 158 was approved by the Virginia Senate on February 5, 2014. The measure was introduced into the Virginia House of Representatives on February 7, 2014.[1] On February 27, 2014, the House Privileges and Elections Sub-Committee voted 5 to 2, along party lines with all Republicans voting against and all Democrats voting for, to not put forward the bill.[7]

Senate vote

February 5, 2014 Senate vote

Virginia SB 158 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 36 90.00%
No410.00%

Similar measures

See also

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External links

References