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Redistricting Commission Prepares to Meet In-Person for the First Time

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NPR
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Virginia’s redistricting commission will meet in person for the first time Tuesday. The meeting in Richmond comes after months of virtual meetings.

Tuesday’s meeting will have both legislators and citizen members of the Virginia redistricting commission meeting in person. Between a newly-expired state of emergency last week and new legislation on virtual participation, the commissioners are learning how to do business - again.

Delegate Delores McQuinn represents Richmond and is on the commission. She says that’s just one part of months of learning for the commission members; many of whom haven’t been on a government board before. 

“You have so many individuals who are a new part of their commission and right now they're just trying to better understand processes,” McQuinn explains.

Meeting in person for the first time brings some special attention to public involvement now that voters can attend in real life. McQuinn says public participation and engagement is key to making sure the new maps are accepted.

“How do we make certain that as we move forward that the community is engaged to the degree that they want to be engaged so that when you walk away, people felt that they'll be able to have, they have had a voice and they've had an opportunity for us to hear what they have to say,” McQuinn says.

The commission will get data from the Census Bureau by August 16th. Once that happens, they only have about six weeks to draw their first maps.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.