Senate Democrats Respond to Redistricting Bill Passage
RICHMOND – Virginia Senate Democrats quickly responded to today’s passage of the Senate’s Redistricting Plan. The bill, HB5001, passed the Senate 22-18 after a spirited debate.
"Redistricting is not a simple task. Whether you're in the majority or the minority, it's difficult. However, Senate map makers worked diligently to produce maps that meet the criteria for districts. The public can be assured that the redistricting plan we passed today meets all federal and state legal requirements," said Sen. Janet Howell D-Reston.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple also touted the plan.
"Today the Senate adopted a redistricting plan that meets the criteria for redistricting as established by the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. Constitution and Virginia Constitutions. These criteria include but are not limited to, making sure districts are near the same size, do not dilute racial or ethnic minority voting strength, are compact and contiguous, and maintain communities of interest," said Whipple.
Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico emphasized that the map adopted today by the Senate complied with the Voting Rights Act better than any plan in recent memory.
"The current map wasted minority voting strength by packing minorities into districts at levels higher than necessary for minority voters to elect a candidate of choice. The new map adopted today provides effective opportunities for minority voters in these districts without wasting their votes through packing and gives minority voters influence in adjoining districts," he said. "I am proud of what the Senate did today in protecting minority voting rights."