State Elections

Fair maps equal fair elections: Why VA matters

Gerrymandering undermines the concept of ‘one person, one vote’ by rigging legislative district maps to make some votes matter less than others. For Republicans, extreme gerrymandering is a means to their goal: permanent legislative majorities based on a minority share of the vote.  This problem originates in the states. It must be fixed state by state.  In 2019, Lean Left VT can help Virginia achieve fair maps for the next 10 years!  

Legislative district maps are redrawn every 10 years, based on the census.  In 2011, Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the legislature. With that power, they made VA one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, at both the Congressional and state level.  Their unfair maps had immediate impact.  In 2012, despite a near 50/50 split in the statewide Congressional vote, Republicans won 73% of the state’s Congressional seats. Such is the power of gerrymandering to ignore the will of the voters.

VA+Vote+%25.jpg
VA Seat allocation.jpg

Virginians and their allies fought back, in courts and at the ballot box.  Incredible efforts have led to some progress.  In 2017, with the highest turnout in 20 years, Democrats picked up 15 seats in the House of Delegates, bringing the representation to 49 Democrats and 51 Republicans.  However, thanks to a gerrymandered map, Republicans retained the majority despite winning only 44% of the statewide vote.  In 2018, Democrats shifted the balance of power in the state’s Congressional delegation by eking out wins in Republican held districts. 

This success was due to Herculean efforts by Virginians and activists around the country including Lean Left VT.  There is reason to be proud.  But it should not be this hard. It shouldn’t take lawsuits and massive ground games.  There should simply be fair elections based on fair maps!  In 2019, if Democrats win just two more seats in each house of the state legislature, we can put an end to Republican gerrymandering.  After the 2020 census, Virginia can have fair maps that treat all Virginians’ votes as equal for 10 years!

A few other reasons to flip VA in 2019 include:

  • Prove President Trump Wrong. Trump has targeted winning Virginia in 2020 to demonstrate his popularity. We can stop him in his tracks.

  • Support the People of Virginia. Virginians deserve progressive legislation that supports gun safety, quality public education, environmental protection and quality healthcare.

  • Pass ERA Ratification. With a Democratic majority legislature, Virginia will ratify the ERA, potentially now close to successful nationwide ratification.

How can you help? Support Democrat candidates that believe in one person, one vote.  Lean Left VT is proud to supporting three specific candidates, our Sister Districts, who will support makes that value the vote of all Virginians.