Virginia bill against prison-based gerrymandering passes House unanimously

by Leah Sakala, February 2, 2012  

Yesterday HB 13, which would allow more counties to reject prison-based gerrymandering, passed unanimously in the Virginia House. The bill, sponsored by Del. Riley Ingram, will now advance to the Senate.

Current Virgina law allows a county to exclude prison populations for redistricting purposes only if the prison population makes up 12% or more of the county’s total population. HB 13 would allow any county with a single district that’s 12% or more incarcerated to exclude prison populations for redistricting purposes, more than doubling the number of counties eligible to avoid prison-based gerrymandering.

As the Roanoke Times so succinctly put it, HB 13 “would move the commonwealth in the right direction” towards ending prison-based gerrymandering.

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