Conservatives want to make your vote irrelevant
January 18, 2012
Yesterday, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee passed a congressional redistricting plan designed to protect current incumbents on a party line 8-7 vote. The map, which was drawn with input from Virginia's current congressmen, is designed to ensure those representatives hold their current seats for as long as they like.
Progressive Point: Yesterday, conservatives in the State Senate made it clear that they would rather protect incumbent congressmen than follow the Voting Rights Act and pass a fair and free congressional redistricting bill. The bill that passed in Committee yesterday allows congressmen to choose their constituents and silences the voices of minorities by packing as many as possible into a single majority-minority district. After refusing to agree to a power-sharing agreement as the voters demanded after the November elections, conservative leaders are continuing to make the voice of the voters irrelevant by doing as much as they can to change the rules of the game and prevent voters from weighing in at all.
The right to choose our representation is a fundamental part of what it means to be an American. But now conservatives are trying to take that right away by silencing the voices of minorities and trying to rush through a plan whose sole purpose is to protect Republican incumbents from furious voters at the polls come November. Leaders concerned about being reelected should strive to better represent their constituents, not gerrymander districts that make constituents irrelevant.