Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 29, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

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

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed Senate Bill 1579, which falls short of establishing sufficient criteria to ensure that electoral maps are drawn fairly. The Governor’s full veto statement is below.

April 29, 2019

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1579, 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. 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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