For Immediate Release: May 18, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation That Excludes Criteria Essential to Ensuring Fair Electoral Maps

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed House Bill 1598 and Senate Bill 106, which fall short of establishing sufficient criteria to ensure that electoral maps are drawn fairly. The Governor’s full veto statement for House Bill 1598 is below. Governor Northam signed an identical statement for Senate Bill 106.

May 18, 2018

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1598, which would establish criteria in the Code of Virginia by which congressional and state legislative districts must be drawn.

While I support codifying criteria that would be followed when drawing legislative districts, this legislation excludes criteria that are essential to fair electoral maps. Any criteria for redistricting must prohibit districts from being drawn to restrict or deny the ability of any racial or ethnic minority to participate in the political process and elect a preferred candidate. I believe the criteria should also prohibit districts that favor or disfavor any political party, incumbent legislator, member of Congress or individual or entity.

This legislation does not go far enough in establishing criteria that would ensure a fair electoral process for Virginia citizens.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Ralph S. Northam

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