Virginia’s non-partisan redistricting commission — which has proven to be anything but non-partisan — is running out of time and asking for extensions to do so, according to Eric Burk with the Virginia Star:
As a result, with just three meetings currently scheduled before public hearings, the commission has only considered how to blend the two partisan proposals in the four easiest districts from the Senate, and has not considered how to handle the partisan House proposals.
“We need more time,” Co-chair Mackenzie Babichenko (R) said. “I think we’re going to want more time if we’re going to go through and look at all these decisions.”
“I’m just wondering if we should book the whole week,” Co-Chair Greta Harris (D) said. “Because next week is it. We haven’t started really on the house maps, we are a third of the way through the senate maps.”
Concerns are also being heard from minority groups about the lack of an adequate number of minority-majority districts in Virginia. Republicans and Democrats both have been urging the commission to consider incumbents when drawing new lines — a view that has received little latitude at first but is now beginning to thaw.
The commission will continue to meet in the first part of October to attempt to reconcile state delegate and state senate district lines. At present, the maps represent either an attunement for future demographic growth (which helps Democrats in “bluing” districts) or present demographic realities (which helps Republicans keep districts red despite suburban growth).